Superbowl ads: more bang for a very large buck

Ben Kaufman, Senior Editor

As the New Year begins, some things must come to an end. The football season is coming to a close, which means that the Super Bowl is right around the corner as well. Naturally, the Super Bowl is a fun time for family and friends to get together, regardless of whether you like the teams playing or you don’t even like football. For those who are not interested in the game, the focus turns to the advertisements.

It’s funny how invested people get in watching the ads during the Super Bowl. On any other day, nobody watches ads on TV unless they have to. Especially now that people have access to everything online or use DVR or TiVo to fast-forward through commercials, watching anything on TV is a rare occurrence. Yet for the Super Bowl people get almost as invested in the commercials as they do in the game.

What makes the Super Bowl different? Why do people enjoy watching the ads during the Super Bowl as opposed to any other day? Do companies benefit from placing ads during the Super Bowl as opposed to just a normal day?

Logically, you would think that would be the case. Considering most people who are watching the Super Bowl are not changing the channel often, they are almost forced into watching the commercials because of that alone. According to Bloomberg News, NBC sold some of the ad slots for $4 million. This is an extremely large amount of money, considering a commercial during a normal prime time TV time slot is in the hundred thousands range. Yes, that is also an extremely large amount of money, but the increase for a commercial time slot during the Super Bowl is interesting. Since the Super Bowl is on FOX, think about a commercial during “The Simpsons,” one of FOX’s more popular TV shows. According to an article on Vulture, a commercial time slot during The Simpsons is $254,000. The fact that a commercial during the Super Bowl increases by over 10 times the amount that it would normally cost is ridiculous, but also not surprising considering the amount of people who watch the Super Bowl.

It also makes sense that the commercials are more expensive during the Super Bowl because of how many people are exposed to their product while watching. According to Adage, smaller brands benefit significantly more relative to other companies. For example, SodaStream, which sells home soda-making machines, increased its distributions from 10,000 vendors to 16,000 after its ad aired during the Super Bowl.

Big companies benefit from their Super Bowl commercials as well. In terms of product awareness, Nestlé estimated that people were 50 to 80 percent more aware of their product after the Super Bowl than they were before. This means that after the Super Bowl aired their ad, more people began talking about the company and the product, which inevitably will lead to future profits as well.

Why are the Super Bowl commercials hyped up more than a normal commercial? One reason is the celebrities they get to premiere in some of these commercials. Take Best Buy, for example. In the past few years for the Super Bowl they have had Amy Poehler, Justin Beiber, and Ozzy Osbourne star in the commercials, whereas on a normal day they would get random actors that we will most likely never see again. Not only are they getting celebrities, they are getting big name celebrities that people love. I dare you to try and find somebody that wouldn’t want to watch Amy Poehler try to outsmart a Best Buy employee for 30 seconds straight.

Another example of this would be when Honda had Matthew Broderick in their commercial in 2012. For those of you who don’t remember, this is the commercial that spoofs Broderick’s classic movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and uses that as an ad for Honda. This is different from their typical commercial, which is usually just showing off random parts of the car to prove how functional a Honda is as opposed to other cars. Instead, they used a classic movie with a great actor and turned it into a commercial.

With the Super Bowl approaching in a few weeks, what will you be watching for? Will you be paying attention to the game, or are you watching for the commercials? If you’re watching for the commercials, make sure to pay attention and see what separates these ads from your normal commercial.


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