CBS Charging Record Amount for Super Bowl Ads
Advertisers are anticipating that Super Bowl LIII will be the most watched television program of the year, and they are willing to spend millions to get their message out on it. A 30-second commercial on CBS, which will be broadcasting the game this year between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, will cost advertisers a record $5.25 million. This works out to about $175,000 per second.
The cost of a commercial, though, is up only a little from last year when a 30-second spot cost $5.2 million. But it is up a whopping $1 million from what it cost just 5 years ago, and it is nearly double what is cost back in 2008 when a 30-second spot went for $2.69 million.
In 1967, when Super Bowl I was broadcast, ad prices started at less than $38,000, and it took until 1995 before prices rose above $1 million. 5 years later in 2001, prices for ads experienced their greatest yearly increase, which was more than 30%. Fueling this increase was the dot-com bubble and companies such as Pets.com.
In spite of the fact that experts expect more than 100 million people to watch Super Bowl LIII, television ratings for professional football have been declining recently. Ratings for Super Bowl LII were about 7% lower than those for Super Bowl LI, but this still amounted to a little more than 100 million viewers.
On Sunday, the exact price CBS will charge for an ad is dependent on when the ad will air. Typically, ads shown toward the beginning of the game cost more than ads shown later. Other factors affecting the price of an ad include how long the ad runs and the total number of ads bought for the game. The network also offers package deals that include other major sporting events.
On the surface, spending more than $5 million for 30 seconds of broadcast time may seem exorbitant, in spite of the size of the viewing audience. But ads often get far greater exposure than those 30 seconds. Advertisers stretch this exposure by issuing press releases about the commercials that they will air, which often come out long before the game is broadcast. Some advertisers even spend a considerable amount of money just marketing their ads. This spending can run into the millions.
Advertisers further hope that people will watch previews of their ads on YouTube, and they hope that they will watch the full ads there over and over after the game ends. Budweiser, for example — which perennially advertises on the game — recently posted such an ad on YouTube, and this ad has already gotten more than 8 million views.
Anheuser-Busch, which is the parent of Budweiser and the official beer sponsor of the NFL, has bought a total of 6 1/2 minutes of ad time during the game. This amounts to around $34 million.
Doritos, which is owned by long-running Super Bowl advertiser Pepsi, has also posted a preview of their Super Bowl ad on YouTube, which features both the Backstreet Boys and Chance the Rapper. So far, it has received more than 2 million views. The ad is another in a long-standing trend of including celebrities in Super Bowl ads. This is done to help the ads stand out from the rest.
While fees for these celebrity appearances are usually not officially released, they sometimes can be more expensive than the ad time. In 2005, Heineken is said to have paid Brad Pitt in excess of $4 million to appear in its Super Bowl ad, while in 2014 Bud Light paid Arnold Schwarzenegger $3 million for appearing in their Super Bowl ad.
During the broadcast on Sunday, viewers should expect to see just about every type of ad imaginable, with one exception: there will be no marijuana ads. Acreage Holdings, which is a medical cannabis company based in New York, reportedly submitted a one-minute ad that would have cost the company more than $10 million. But CBS rejected the ad. They also issued a statement along with the rejection saying that, as a company policy, they do not accept ads related to cannabis. Though this does not mean that you cannot see the ad, as a version of it has already been posted on YouTube.