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How Much Does the Average Super Bowl Commercial Cost?

More than 113 million people tuned in to the Super Bowl last year. It’s one of the most watched television events of the year, and whether the audience is tuned in for the game, the cheeky commercials or a Taylor Swift sighting, it’s a unique opportunity for businesses to advertise to incredible numbers.Unfortunately, advertising during the Super Bowl comes with a hefty price tag to match the hype.According to the website Statista, over the last 20 years, the average cost of a 30-second commercial during the show has risen more than $5 million, even when adjusted for inflation. In 2023, the cost for 30-second spot was $7 million.A 2020 Statista survey found that 71% of Super Bowl viewers enjoy watching the commercials for entertainment.Not only will millions of viewers tune in, but the entertainment factor leads to news sites covering and replaying the commercial after the fact, giving businesses even more coverage.That’s why the average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl LVII commercial in 2023 was $7 million – a peak in the event’s pricey history.Here’s a look at some of the prices for the same 30 seconds over the last 20 years, adjusted for inflation:Super Bowl YearAverage Cost of a 30-second CommercialSuper Bowl XXXVIII (2004)$2.2 millionSuper Bowl XLIV (2010)$2.95 millionSuper Bowl XLVIII (2014)$4 millionSuper Bowl LIV (2020)$5.6 millionSuper Bowl LVII (2023)$7 millionIn the last decade alone, the cost has nearly doubled, and it will likely only continue to rise. Still, the rise in cost isn’t necessarily due to a rise in viewership, Todd Cohen, vice president of National Video/CTV Strategy at Undertone by Perion, said in an email.“Super Bowl ad costs have nearly doubled over the past decade, from $4M in 2014 for a 30 second ad, to more than $7M in 2024, for a similar audience size of around 113 million viewers. TV viewership has never been more fragmented, so this growth in the price demonstrates how much more valuable it’s become to reach a mass audience at once,” he said.Clearly, Super Bowl ad costs are high. But how do they actually compare to other primetime ad placements?According to Frank Maguire, vice president of insights, strategy and sustainability for Sharethrough, the price is incomparable, especially as other advertising costs are actually declining.“Broadly speaking, the cost to advertise on prime time TV has declined in the past six months, with numerous factors having converged on the 2023 upfront market, which caused softer pricing than in years past,” Maguire said in an email.“To put the $7 million cost of Super Bowl commercials into perspective, the most expensive show to air an ad on includes NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football,’ where an average unit cost is over seven times lower at $882,079. Another costly show to advertise on includes ‘The Voice’s Monday’ and Tuesday night broadcasts, which cost $125,833 and $122,899 on average for 30 seconds,” he added.With such a high price tag, Super Bowl commercials will need to drive quite a bit of revenue to break even. While viewership is high – do these commercials actually get customers to buy products?According to a study conducted by Stanford University, success rates vary. Super Bowl commercials do in fact drive a high amount of traffic and revenue for brands, but competition between similar products and services is steep, and that can nullify the gains.“From an attention standpoint, very few ad options can compare to a Super Bowl ad. However, there are far more efficient ways to reach audiences at scale,” Maguire said.So, while a Super Bowl ad might be attention-grabbing and have a wide reach, advertisers need a more comprehensive strategy and must carefully consider if it’s worth the cost.