Last year, 106.5 million people watched the Super Bowl. The year before drew a crowd of 95.4 million and in 2008, 97.5 million viewers witnessed this championship game of the National Football League. Super Bowl Sunday has become a de facto American national holiday and is typically the most watched American television program. Because of this, the Super Bowl has become a mecca for TV advertising. Following Apple Computer‘s 1984 commercial introducing the Macintosh computer, directed by Ridley Scott, the broadcast of the Super Bowl became the premier showcase for high concept and expensive commercials.
Famous commercial campaigns include the Budweiser “Bud Bowl” campaign and the 1999 and 2000 dot-com ads. Prices have increased every year, with advertisers paying as much as $3 million for a thirty-second spot during Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.
A segment of the audience tunes in to the Super Bowl solely to view commercials. Millions more re-watch them on Youtube, where they are instantaneously posted and viewers can vote on their favorites. But, if you are still left wishing to see more, don’t worry. The amount of time dedicated to commercials during the game has slowly been on the rise, reaching an all-time high of 48 minutes worth of ads and network promotions during the 2010 game. (Technically 47 min, 50 sec.) If you watched every single one, you saw 104 individual message, compared to the 2000 game which had 81 messages. The games from 2001 through 2010 accounted for 425 minutes, or more than seven hours, of commercial time, comprising 850 commercial messages worth some $1.62 billion.
This year, Fox sought between $2.8 million and $3 million for 30 second spots. And after a two-year hiatus by blue-chip members of the Super Bowl ad roster, they are all back.Two in particular you should keep you eye on this year are GM which will be pushing Chevrolet and PepsiCo which is planning seven commercials.
Top 5 Super Bowl Advertisers 2001-2010
1. Anhueser-Busch, InBev: 10 years with ads in the game; spent $235 million
2. Pepsico Inc: 10 years with ads in the game; spent $170 million
3. Walt Disney Co.: 9 years with ads in the game; spent $70.8 million
4. General Motors Corp.: 7 years with ads in the game; spent $61.10 million
5. Coca-Cola Co.: 4 years with ads in the game; spent $54.4 million