A record number of people are expected to tune in to Fox on Sunday night, as the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks face off in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Advertisers are naturally going to want to cash in on this annual spectacle, a rare event that nearly every viewer will watch live instead of using a recording device, catching it later and zipping right through commercials with the fast-forward button.
Once you factor in that there is a large segment of fans that actually sticks around and pays attention to the advertisements—many of which look forward to them and get involved in the hype leading up to the game—you have a recipe for the network to make money hand over fist, one 30-second slot at a time.
According to Brad Adgate of Forbes, the upcoming Super Bowl is expected to draw an unprecedented number of eyeballs, breaking the mark of 111.3 million viewers that Super Bowl XLVI set in 2012.
Advertisers had to be more than happy to learn that the cost of airtime did not increase with this projected bump in viewership.
According to Paul Farhi of The Washington Post, a 30-second spot will cost approximately $4 million, right around the same price that CBS was charging to get some airtime during the Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers matchup last year.
Fans should be familiar with most of the companies shilling their product during this year’s Super Bowl, as they have been regular fixtures during the big game for some time.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, Audi, CarMax, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Doritos, Go Daddy, M&M’s, T-Mobile, Volkswagen and more will get a chance to try and recoup some of their expenses by swaying consumers with pitches that range from creative to serious, humorous to sexy and some that are just plain silly.
These mega-corporations are generally the only ones with a marketing budget large enough to absorb such a massive expenditure on self-promotion, but the return on investment could pay dividends due to a level of exposure unable to be obtained anywhere else.
However, there is significant risk when doling out such a large sum of cash to reach Super Bowl viewers. According to a study done by Crossmedia, an independent media agency, these advertisers can quickly suffer from diminishing returns.
As the graph indicates, only 70 percent of brands will even be remembered by viewers after the game and the numbers get worse from there.
Increases in purchase intent, one of the main reasons companies bother promoting their brand at all, occurred in just 30 percent of brands. However, increases in brand exposure and brand consideration took place for 40 percent of the companies advertising during this football frenzy.
Those are certainly respectable figures, but some might expect $133,000 a second to resonate a bit more with viewers.
Either way, Super Bowl commercials are here to stay. It is a pop culture phenomenon that advertisers are going to continue to take advantage of and networks are going to continue charging beaucoup bucks for the right to do so.