- A 30-second Super Bowl commercial is worth $7 million by 2023.
- Costs have risen more than $5 million in the past 20 years, even though the audience hasn’t changed much.
- While the Super Bowl is a great advertising opportunity, it’s not worth the expense for every company.
Over 113 million people watched the Super Bowl last year. It’s one of the most watched television events of the year, and whether viewers are tuning in for the game, the raunchy commercials or a glimpse of Taylor Swift, it’s a rare opportunity. for businesses to advertise in unbelievable numbers.
Unfortunately, advertising during the Super Bowl comes with a high price tag to live up to the hype.
According to the website Statista, over the past 20 years, the average cost of a 30-second commercial during the show has increased by more than $5 million, even when adjusted for inflation. In 2023, the cost of a 30-second spot will be $7 million.
Average Super Bowl Commercial Cost Over the Years
A 2020 Statista survey found that 71% of Super Bowl viewers enjoy watching commercials for entertainment.
Not only will millions of viewers tune in, but the entertainment factor will lead to news sites covering and replaying the commercial after the fact, giving businesses more coverage.
So the average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl LVII commercial in 2023 was $7 million — a high in the event’s expensive history.
In the last decade alone, the cost has nearly doubled, and it will likely only continue to rise. However, the increase in costs is not necessarily due to the increase in viewers, Todd Cohen, vice president of National Video / CTV Strategy at Perion’s Undertone, said in an email.
“Super Bowl ad spending has nearly doubled in the last decade, from $4M in 2014 for a 30-second ad, to more than $7M in 2024, for the same audience size of about 113 million viewers. TV audiences are not very fragmented, so this price increase shows how valuable it is to reach a large audience at once ,” he said.
How to Compare Super Bowl Ad Costs
Obviously, Super Bowl ad costs are high. But how do they really compare to other primetime ad placements?
According to Frank Maguire, vice president of insights, strategy and sustainability for Sharethrough, the price is incomparable, especially since other advertising costs are actually decreasing.
“Generally speaking, the cost of advertising in prime time TV has decreased in the last six months, with several factors combining in the 2023 upfront market, which led to slower prices than in previous years ,” Maguire said in an email.
“To put the $7 million worth of Super Bowl commercials in perspective, the most expensive show to air an ad on includes NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football,’ where the average unit cost is more than seven times less than $882,079. Other expensive shows to advertise include ‘The Voice’s Monday’ and Tuesday night broadcasts, which cost $125,833 and $122,899 on average for 30 seconds,” he added.
Is Paying for a Super Bowl Commercial Worth It?
With such a high price tag, Super Bowl commercials will have to drive quite a bit of revenue to break even. While viewership is high – are these commercials really getting customers to buy products?
According to a study conducted by Stanford University, the success rate varies. Super Bowl commercials actually drive a high amount of traffic and revenue for brands, but the competition between similar products and services is intense, and that can erode those gains.
“From an attention perspective, few ad options can compare to a Super Bowl ad. However, there are far more efficient ways to reach audiences at scale,” said Maguire.
So, while a Super Bowl ad may attract attention and have a wide reach, advertisers need a more comprehensive strategy and should carefully consider whether it is worth the cost.