Is a Super Bowl ad worth $5 million?
Despite a 10 percent drop in NFL ratings this season after sliding nine percent in the 2016 regular season, Super Bowl LII ads are reportedly costing more than $5 million for a 30-second spot — about even or a bit higher than 2017 levels.
According to Kantar Media, the average cost of a 30-second spot has grown about 85 percent over the past decade and remains well above the next two most costly properties in 2017 — the NFC Championship at $2.5 million per 30-second spot and the Academy Awards at $1.9 million.
The ratings decline for NFL games over the last two seasons is being blamed on player protests during the anthem to protest racial injustice, concerns over concussions, the loss of popular stars due to retirement or injuries, over-scheduling and poor play.
Some feel people are just watching less TV and being able to follow highlights on social media may also be cutting into viewership.
On the positive side, the decline in the NFL’s ratings hasn’t been as severe over the last decade as other programs, and many still feel live games are less immune to losing TV viewers than shows that can be viewed later on streaming services such as Netflix. It’s also harder to avoid commercials on live broadcasts.
Some also feel the Super Bowl is a different animal than a regular season game. Last year’s Super Bowl attracted 111.3 million viewers, not far off the record 114.4 million that watched in 2015 and more than triple last year’s second-most viewed program, The Academy Awards, at 32.9 million viewers.
The big-budget and star-studded commercials are part of the Super Bowl viewing experience and are also hyped well before the games. A newer phenomenon is the way social media can extend viewership of the commercials well beyond the telecast.
“There’s a symbolic nature of Super Bowl advertising that just isn’t the same as other platforms,” Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, told CNN. “A Super Bowl ad used to be a Super Bowl ad, but over the past decade, it’s really become a two-week extravaganza.”
- Average Cost of 30 Second Super Bowl Ad Grew 87% Over Past Decade To All-Time High of $5.05 Million in 2017 – Kantar Media
- Future of football safety could come down to research in Riddell’s suburban Chicago office – Chicago Tribune
- Super Bowl LII will be a test for the NFL’s season of discontent – Los Angeles Times
- Why Companies Spend So Much on Super Bowl Ads – The Wall Street Journal
- NBC says Super Bowl commercials are nearly sold out, topping $5 million per 30-second spot – Los Angeles Times
- Can NBC Break Its Own Super Bowl Ratings Record From 2015? – Adweek
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What can Super Bowl ads do for brands that regular ads can’t? Has the value derived from Super Bowl ads increased or diminished in the last few years? Do they work better for established brands or for newer brands and product launches?