Advertising during the Super Bowl is big business. The cost of the average 30 second Super Bowl ad in 2012 was $3.5 million. That is up from the $55,000 average cost Winston cigarettes paid when viewers watched the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl game in 1967. In recent years, more and more advertisers are leaving the shorter ads behind, opting instead for longer storytelling ads, which they hope will be easier for viewers to remember. This year’s 4 minute and 30 second long Anhauser Busch commercial cost the company the equivalent of nearly 4 million six packs of beer. Why do companies pay such big bucks for Super Bowl ads? According to Nielsen, last night’s game was viewed by 111 million potential buyers. While most of those viewers tuned in to the game to watch the Giants battle the Patriots, some only watched the game to enjoy the advertisements.
You can learn more about the strategies behind the longer Super Bowl commercials in the January 9, 2012 issue of Advertising Age. Take a look at the January 24, 2011 issue of Brandweek to view the history of Super Bowl advertisements. Both journals are available electronically through IUCAT.