Super Bowl Ad Costs: Latest Info on Cost of 2015 Super Bowl Commercials

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2015

AP Images

There is no more coveted event during which to air a commercial than the Super Bowl, but companies hoping to get a major rub from the big game were forced to shell out a record-breaking amount of cash in 2015.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a basic, 30-second ad for Super Bowl XLIX costs a whopping $4.5 million:

The Wall Street Journal @WSJ

A 30-second ad in this year's #SuperBowl will set a brand back about $4.5 million. http://t.co/v7KcG92JeJ

Per Lauren Jones of WAVE 3 in Louisville, Kentucky, that breaks down further to $150,000 per second:

Lauren Jones @LaurenWAVE3TV

How much do you think a 30 second #SuperBowl ad costs? Better yet...per second. A mind blowing 150 K each second & 4.5 million each 30 secs.

The lofty cost doesn't come as a major surprise since it has consistently risen for the most part over the years. With that said, now that there are more advertising options than ever before, it is fair to question if $4.5 million is truly worth it.

Per Lauren Johnson of Adweek, DigitasLBi Chief Investment Officer Adam Shlachter pointed out that a company can launch a massive online marketing campaign for less than the cost of a single, 30-second Super Bowl commercial.

"With (a $4.5 million) budget, you can run a YouTube masthead, Snapchat sponsored story, sponsored Instagram ad, promoted Twitter trend and a Yahoo homepage takeover and still have money to spare," Shlachter said.

There is no question that Shlachter makes a compelling case for alternatives to Super Bowl television ads. That becomes even clearer considering more ambitious companies had to cough up $9 million in exchange for a minute-long commercial, according to USA Today Sports on Twitter:

USA TODAY Sports @usatodaysports

Super Bowl commercials reportedly cost $9 million per minute this year: http://t.co/O77jPc8jci

As far as the Super Bowl is concerned, everything about it has grown since the Green Bay Packers routed the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in Super Bowl I back in 1967.

Not only have the pageantry, hype and importance surrounding the game reached incomprehensible levels, but the cost of advertising has increased by leaps and bounds as well.

Per Richard Rogers of CBS News 12 in Augusta, Georgia, a Super Bowl I ad cost only $40,000, which means the price has increased by more than 11,000 percent over the past 48 years:


An ad in the first Super Bowl in 1967 was $40,000. This year? Around $4.5 million. http://t.co/QvlcMZKkwF

Inflation is only natural over the course of a half century, but the Super Bowl is on an entirely different level. Paying $4.5 million for a commercial of any kind was once unheard of, but the popularity and wide-reaching impact of the Super Bowl has suddenly made it commonplace.

Time will tell if ponying up that much money is ultimately worth it for the companies that decide to do so, but the guarantee of being seen by the largest television audience in the United States is something that may transcend tangible cost.

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