Super Bowl Commercial Prices

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super bowl ad prices

The Super Bowl has become a larger than life event. While I will be watching the biggest game of the year to see whether the San Francisco 49ers or Baltimore Ravens will be victorious, others will be watching to see star-studded halftime entertainment or comical and thought-provoking commercials.

I’d be willing to bet that more people urinate in their pants on Super Bowl Sunday than in other day of the year. Commercial breaks are usually the time to relieve oneself, but some folks consider Super Bowl commercials can’t-miss television.  Thank God for DVRs!

Since Super Bowl XVII, when Apple’s “1984″ commercial advertised the Macintosh computer by playing off George Orwell’s book “1984’’, Super Bowl commercials have increasingly become more and more creative. This has made them a big topic of conversation at work in the days following the big game.  Online and print media alike now go as far as critiquing the best and worst Super Bowl ads.

In recent years, Budweiser has been both the king of beers and the king of creative Super Bowl ads.

Ever wonder what a commercial slot during the Super Bowl costs? Well, this year the FOX TV network, which is broadcasting the game, has been asking for upwards of  $4 million for 30 seconds of ad time. That’s quite an increase from the first Super Bowl when a 30 second ad could be purchased for $40,000 and nearly 200,000 more than last year’s average of $3.8 million on CBS.

We can always expect to see the big boys like Anheuser-Busch or PepsiCo, but companies smaller than these may decide to pick their spots when it comes to Super Bowl advertising. The 90 million-plus viewers has been enough for many major companies to bite the bullet over the last decade, but we may see a new pattern emerging.

With the amount of traffic social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are receiving, along with websites devoted specifically to the game, not all companies are willing to pay the high price Fox is asking.

“The Super Bowl in its heyday, it used to be an absolute focus point,“ said Andrew Graff, chief executive of Allen & Gerritsen, an agency based near Boston.  The key phrase is “used to be”.  Now, advertisers have more avenues to reach Super Bowl fans without running an ad during the game.

General Motors wasn’t willing to shell out the cash for a Super Bowl commercial a few years back and this year E-Trade has pulled it’s name from the mix. These likely won’t be the last big names to drop off if prices don’t come down in the future.

While some companies may be pulling their name out of the hat, Fox didn’t exactly have a hard time filling the slots for this year’s Super Bowl. Fox reportedly sold out of their slots roughly two months in advance, which is about a month earlier than what we saw last year with CBS. Part of the reason for the high-demand is the fact that the game will be played in the New York market (MetLife Stadium in New Jersey).

Here’s a detailed look at how prices have inflated over the years.

History of Super Bowl Commercial Prices (30 second ad)

1967 - $40,000
1968 - $54,000
1969 - $67,500
1970 - $78,200
1971 - $72,000
1972 - $86,000
1973 - $103,500
1974 - $107,000
1975 - $110,000
1976 - $125,000
1977 - $162,000
1978 - $185,000
1979 - $222,000
1980 - $275,000
1981 - $324,300
1982 - $345,000
1983 - 400,000
1984 - $450,000
1985 - $500,000
1986 - $550,000
1987 - $575,000
1988 - $600,000
1989 - $675,000
1990 - $700,000
1991 - $800,000
1992 - $800,000
1993 - $850,000
1994 - $900,000
1995 - $1,000,000
1996 - $1,100,000
1997 - $1,200,000
1998 - $1,300,000
1999 - $1,600,000
2000 - $2,100,000
2001 - $2,050,000
2002 - $1,900,000
2003 - $2,100,000
2004 - $2,250,000
2005 - $2,400,000
2006 - $2,500,000
2007 - $2,600,000
2008 - $2,700,000
2009 - $3,000,000
2010 - $2,800,000
2011 - $3,000,000
2012 - $3,500,000
2013 - $3,800,000
2014 - $4,000,000

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