The allure of the Super Bowl
Although the teams that are participating were just determined, many of the advertisers have been established for months. Viewers will be tuning into FOX to see the big game (and the ads) on February 12, 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The advertising unicorn
Why do advertisers line up to spend $7 million on a 30-second message? Because the opportunity is an advertising unicorn. Consumer media habits are so fragmented with streaming video, audio, apps and digital “print” content that the opportunity to reach 100 million people has all but disappeared. Gone are the days when the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC, later joined by FOX) reached most Americans through news and prime time programming.
Isn’t it REALLY expensive?
A 30-second spot in the 2022 Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals cost just over $6.5 million. That’s $233,000 per second. With over 99 million viewers tuning in, the cost per one thousand viewers (CPM – a media industry standard for assessing value) was about $64. It might surprise you, but advertising on traditional TV has a higher average CPM than the Super Bowl.
According to WARC (a global marketing think tank), the average television CPM in the U.S. is $73.14 in 2022 — up nearly 40% versus 2019 pre-COVID levels, when the U.S. average was $52.71. The opportunity to capture media/editorial (unpaid) coverage of your ad creative is also much greater when associated with the big game.
We’ve established the media placement is a good value, but so is the attention paid
Despite the high cost, this is the only place for big brands to get 100 million viewers, many of whom are more interested in the ads than the actual game. Sports are one of the few places in the market where you can get a large captive audience all at one time. In 2022, 18 of the top 20 most viewed programs in the U.S. were NFL games, with the other two being college football and the Olympics.
Ads used to be a surprise, but now it’s normal for them to be “leaked”
In recent years, brands have been releasing their Super Bowl commercials in advance of the big game in order to prime audiences and drum up hype for their spot. A handful of brands have already released “teasers,” akin to trailers for movies ahead of Super Bowl LVII.
Other significant shifts from previous years include a new halftime show sponsor in Apple Music (formerly Pepsi) as well as Anheuser-Busch InBev opening the door for other beer companies to run ads. Last year, we saw several cryptocurrency brands and companies spend big bucks on Super Bowl ads. This year, the category to watch for is sports betting. Expect to see major spots from DraftKings and FanDuel.
This year’s Super Bowl is destined to be the most viewed program in the U.S. in 2023. Advertisers will continue to spend large amounts of money, understanding that the opportunity to reach 100 million people can be worth the cost, if done right.