Super Bowl Commercials 2018: Updated Ad Costs, Value and Leaks Info

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2018

An official ball for the NFL Super Bowl LII football game from the Wilson Sporting Goods Co. in Ada, Ohio, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. The New England Patriots will play the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, in Minneapolis, MN. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

One thing that makes the Super Bowl such a big pop-culture event, especially for non-sports fans, is everything that happens between the game. 

Even though most people tuning into Super Bowl LII are likely doing so to see what happens between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, casual audiences are watching the commercials to see which advertisers are putting their best foot forward. 

The value of a Super Bowl commercial is massive, because it's the largest television audience of the year, by a wide margin. Businesses can generate incredible revenue thanks to the spotlight. 

Before looking at what Super Bowl ads cost and their overall value, here are a few of the commercials airing Sunday that have already been made available online:

Super Bowl 2018 Ad Costs

The Super Bowl has had a television audience of more than 100 million people each of the previous eight years. 

For perspective on how much bigger Super Bowl viewership is compared to the rest of television, the No. 2 most-watched show in 2017 was the AFC Championship Game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots with 47.95 million total viewers. 

Because of the sizable viewing numbers expected for Sunday's game, Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated noted NBC will charge an average of $5 million for a 30-second spot during the Eagles-Patriots matchup. 


Super Bowl Ad Value

In 2016, Kathy Grannis Allen of the National Retail Federation noted 17.7 percent of adults surveyed said commercials were their favorite part of the Super Bowl. 

Assuming Super Bowl LII has the same ratings as last year's game (111.32 million), that percentage translates to 19.7 million people. 

Per Jeffrey Dorfman of Forbes, even with the hefty $5 million price tag for 30 seconds of advertising, there's a reason why Super Bowl commercials have so much more value to companies than a regular television show or sporting event:

"Even more importantly from an economic point of view, Super Bowl commercials get a lot of extra viewers beyond the 30 seconds of airtime they purchase directly. These days, most companies that buy Super Bowl ads also carefully arrange a matching digital media campaign that can draw millions of additional viewers. For example, a YouTube video of the best Super Bowl commercials from last year has over 7 million views.

"On top of that, Super Bowl ads generate discussion for days afterward as everyone talks about their favorite commercials, the funniest commercials, and even the worst commercials they saw. Thus, a successful Super Bowl ad generates a lot of return beyond just the initial viewers. That brings the effective cost down to even further."

The Super Bowl is also one of the few times people actively tune in to see commercials. As commercial-free streaming services rise in popularity, especially with younger audiences, advertisers have to be aggressive and take advantage of the one event that will feature massive viewership in every major demographic. 


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