Superbowl ads have evolved into a cultural phenomenon. Whether you tune in for the game or prefer to take part in the social comradery, the commercial experience has become just as anticipated, if not more, by Super Bowl viewers.
Since the first Super Bowl I in 1967, commercials that run during the game have become more than just campaigns promoting products and other services. The ads became their own experiences.
Cinematography quality, celebrity appearances, humor, surrealist concepts, vibrant color contrasts are just a few of the elements that drive viewers’ eyes towards the television on this Sunday afternoon every year.
And this upcoming Sunday is the day.
But why are commercials so significant in the Super Bowl specifically? Why do companies choose this day to create a legacy?
Check out the infancy of Super Bowl ads, why they are so important to business conglomerates and how ad prices fluctuated throughout the years:
Why are Super Bowl ads so expensive?
There is a simple answer to this question: viewership.
Since the Super Bowl is one of the most-watched broadcasts on television every year, there is no better platform to reveal fresh advertisements to the world. The game is broadcast on over 225 different television stations, aired on about 450 radio stations and viewed by approximately 180 countries across the globe. The game appeals to all.
Super Bowl LV in 2021 was viewed by 91.63 million people as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. However, the record for the most-watched Super Bowl remains in the hands of Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. During this New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks showdown, the televised event received 114.44 million viewers. With these numbers showing wide demographics, it would be of a company’s best interest to publicize their innovative experiments.
But it doesn’t stop there. Most often, these commercials are then publicized beyond the actual Super Bowl. Morning shows, late-night shows, social media buzz, published content on news sites and word of mouth ultimately lead to more distribution of information. Companies immediately receive the gain when their products are popularized within the seconds following the ad’s airtime.
Were there advertisements in the early Super Bowls?
Yes, advertisements were a part of the game in the early days.
What was the cost of a commercial during the first Super Bowl ever played?
Super Bowl I (1967) featured the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The event aired solely on two networks: NBC and CBS.
Back then, NBC asked companies $75,000 for a 60-second spot and CBS charged $85,000. For a 30-second spot, the networks charged $42,000.
How have Super Bowls ads changed over the years?
These were the prices for a 30-second commercial in recent Super Bowl history…
1967 (Super Bowl I): $37,500/$42,500 (CBS/NBC)
1995: $1.15 million
2000: $2.1 million
2015: $4.25 million
2016: $4.5 million
2017: $5 million
2018: $5.2 million
2019: $5.3 million
2020: $5.6 million
2021: $5.5 million
How Much Are Super Bowl Ads This Year?
NBC has set a record deal for 2022 Super Bowl ads, asking for $6.5 million per 30-second commercial. This is an increase from the $5.5 million asked for in 2021.
History will be made this year as well with this being the first Super Bowl set to overlap with the Winter Olympics. Viewers from all over the world will be tuning in to not one, but two, major televised events.
Will you be watching this year’s Super Bowl?