Ahead of the 2018 Super Bowl showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, business is indeed booming, as one star wide receiver would say.
Like NFL positional salaries, it isn't hard to understand the booming costs associated with ads. Super Bowl commercials go far and beyond what they used to do for companies—the new era of releasing a trailer for an ad or outright releasing an ad early might seem silly given the asking price, but it makes sense in today's social media environment.
2018 Super Bowl
Date: Sunday, Feb. 4
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kickoff Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Patriots minus-4.5, Over/Under 48
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Given the hints above, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to hear a cool cost of around $5 million is the price tag on a 30-second spot this year, according to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch. The time allotted seems minuscule, but a talented ad agency will use the platform to have a brand buzzing for weeks before and after the game, if not years.
It all comes down to audience size. The Super Bowl is a global event drawing a massive audience. No other sporting event seems to come close—according to SI.com's Charlotte Carroll, the final game of the World Series saw companies pay about $500,000 for a 30-second spot.
We used the word "booming" above for good reason, by the way. According to superbowl-ads.com, a 30-second slot back in 1966 during the first Super Bowl cost about $37,500. Prices have jumped by more than $1 million since 2013, where an ad cost about $4 million. Interestingly enough, the average numbers of viewers have seemed to remain the same.
The rising price but evening out of viewership points to one thing—social media.
Online impressions generated via a strong Super Bowl ad works wonders for companies perhaps expanding for years to come. This thought train applies to a single ad, though the best companies will use the platform to launch a strong multi-ad campaign.
And the price for 30 seconds isn't that high. Look at context unearthed by Digiday's Ilyse Liffreing: "With a budget of $5.2 million on Facebook, you’d be able to reach 113 million people and generate 450 million impressions over a weeklong campaign, meaning every Facebook user reached would see the ad four times. This campaign would reach 2 million more people than the 111.3 million Nielsen found watched the Super Bowl in 2017."
Now expand the thought there to the idea a Super Bowl ad goes well beyond simple Facebook users and one begins to see the importance of these spots.
So which ads will Super Bowl viewers want to see this year?
Amazon has a fun one sure to hit living rooms everywhere, with the company dishing a funny ad in which Alexa loses her voice:
Other ad campaigns are continuations of past successes with familiar faces.
When it comes to NFL ads, it doesn't get much more familiar than one Peyton Manning, who is back again with a spot for Universal Studios:
Another familiar face is Pepsi, which returns with another appeal to older generations and sure to punch the old nostalgia button:
As an extension of Pepsi Co., Mountain Dew and Doritos will collide in a sure-to-be-successful ad featuring Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman:
One doesn't have to look hard to find the common theme among even that small sampling of upcoming (or already released) ads—moments companies hope viewers will share online with each other.
Long gone are the days where an ad debuts once during the Super Bowl and sees light run for the following week or so. Ads, released early or even hyped due to the additional cost of a teaser trailer, can give back to companies on the initial investment for a long time while pushing the envelope of an entire industry.