At this point, the Super Bowl is known for its commercials as much as it is for the actual football game. Super Bowl ads have always been a big deal — the game has always had an extremely high viewership and wide demographic, meaning the commercials get a ton of important exposure. Super Bowl ads also have the chance of going viral and becoming even more valuable. It should come as no surprise that airing a commercial during the big game is super expensive — but exactly how much do Super Bowl ads cost to make?
Creating a commercial, even if runs for less than 30 seconds, is pricey on its own — and it’s even more costly during the Super Bowl. Advertisers pay for the spot itself, and then you have to consider all of that money that goes into production and towards the actors. Super Bowl ads also come with high expectations. Everyone is paying attention to them, unlike during other live programs, during which people are more likely to ignore commercials completely. This means that they need to be good, and that means even more money.
The price to advertise during the Super Bowl has increased tremendously over the years. For Super Bowl I, it cost about $37,500. By 2000, it was up to $2.2 million. And in 2015, it doubled to about $4.5 million. In fact, some commercials are so expensive to make that they don’t even pay themselves off in the end — some companies don’t even make more than they spent on the ad. Ouch.
Sports Illustrated reported that last year, 2017, it cost $5 million for a 30-second ad spot during the Super Bowl.
That price is definitely going to go up. Dan Lovinger, executive vice president of ad sales for NBC Sports Group, told Business Insider, “We expect February 4 will set a record for single-day revenue generated by a single company.”
To put that into perspective, as Business Insider points out, a 30-second ad is more than what most NFL players make in a year.
This year, we’re going to see some big ads: after taking a break in 2017, Pepsi and Doritos are making a comeback. Fan favorites, like Budweiser and Coca-Cola, are also expected to deliver some quality commercials.
Making an ad that’s worth $5 million is certainly a lot of pressure — let’s see who can live up to it!