Super Bowl Commercials 2015: Updated Ad Costs, Value and Leaks Info

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2015

In this photo taken with a slow shutter speed, the Lombardi Trophy sits behind two helmets before a joint coaches news conference for NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The bottom-line purpose of most advertising is to get your message across to as many people as possible and then have those people react to the message by either purchasing the product/service or spreading the message through various ways such as word of mouth.

There is no better venue in America to do just that than the Super Bowl broadcast.

After all, the Super Bowl consistently tallies more than 100 million viewers on a yearly basis and also inspires conversations regarding the commercials for an extended period of time after the game ends. What other televised show features as much post-event discussion about the advertisements as the actual telecast? 

With that in mind, here is a look at some of the information about the commercials for the 2015 Super Bowl.


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Frank Pallotta of CNN Money pointed out that the average cost for a 30-second ad in this year’s Super Bowl was $4.5 million, and all the available commercial space sold out as of Wednesday. 

Interestingly, NBC only charged $3.5 million for 30-second commercials in 2012, while Fox charged $4 million last year. It took a while to actually sell all of the space, but the opportunity to advertise to hundreds of millions of people—even at an astronomical price—was too good to pass up for companies across the country.

In fact, the Super Bowl has drawn in at least 105 million viewers in each of the past five years, so advertisers at least know their message is reaching plenty of people.

Pallotta explained why there was a slowdown in how long it took to sell the space this year:

The later timing this year reflects an overall slowdown in television advertising spending. Advertisers have been a bit tight-fisted with their budgets -- they've been making fewer big-dollar commitments ahead of time and have been waiting closer to air time to buy spots. 

Fortunately for NBC, the advertisers didn’t wait too long.


Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

One of the most intriguing questions every year when it comes to the Super Bowl commercials is whether it is worth spending all of that money.

It makes sense on the surface because it is the highest-watched television broadcast of the year and is sure to spark postgame discussions, both in the media and in everyday life. After all, it is the one time a year when a company absolutely knows its ads will generate coverage.

As with so many things in sports or business, though, there are numbers to justify or challenge gut feelings.

Mike Ozanian of Forbes broke down the exact amount of viewers needed to reach the same value as last year’s Super Bowl and determined that NBC needs an average of at least 120 million viewers “for advertisers to get the same bang for the buck.”

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Last year’s Super Bowl drew in an average of 112.2 million viewers (a record) and generated $331.8 million in advertising spending alone, which was about $3 of spending per viewer. Ozanian noted “for advertisers to beat last year’s Super Bowl ratio of $3 of ad spending-per-viewer, they need an audience of at least 120 million.” 

No pressure or anything, America, but there are a lot of companies depending on you to tune into the Super Bowl.


Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Susanna Kim of ABC News provided a one-stop shop for the majority of the commercials and teasers that have already been leaked, via social media, YouTube and other means.

Among the brands will be 15 first-time Super Bowl advertisers, which is the most since the 2000 title game. There are also some companies (including Doritos, Pepsi and Carnival Cruise) that are counting on audience interaction with a public vote on potential commercials with the winners airing during the broadcast.

If you don’t want any spoilers leading up to the big game, this is where you should stop reading.

Here are a few of those leaks and teasers, including a powerful one that Rachel Nichols of CNN shared:

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

If you have a daughter, you need to pay attention to this ad (will air during the Super Bowl): https://t.co/TjitV0V4YJ

Now that you have seen some of the ads, this quote about what works in Super Bowl commercials from Rama Yelkur, the dean of the College of Business and Management at Saginaw Valley State University, is rather intriguing, via Jessica Shepherd of MLive:

"Celebrities, now, we're seeing they don't have as much of a good impact on the commercial as they used to. ... America is in love with animals. ... Sex appeal doesn't necessarily work. This is a family event." 

That family event will draw in hundreds of millions of viewers Sunday.

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