super bowl - marketing statistics

10 Insane Super Bowl Statistics From a Marketing Perspective

What are some of the most interesting Super Bowl statistics from a Marketing and Advertising perspective? Continue reading for more!

The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), and one of the biggest sports events in the entire world.

In 2021, it was watched by 91.6 million people – which, despite being a 15-year low, is still expected to be one of the most watched television program this year.

super bowl - marketing statistics

The Super Bowl is also extremely interesting from a Marketing perspective. It represents a unique opportunity for advertisers, giving them the possibility to reach a multi-million audience that’s paying close attention to every minute on their TV.

With the whole event lasting for 4 hours with plenty of breaks between them, many brands are willing to pay huge amounts of money to gain visibility and make a name for themselves.

For this reason, today we will see some insane Super Bowl statistics from a Marketing point of view. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into them:

1. How much does a Super Bowl ad cost in 2021?

For the Super Bowl LV in 2021, the average cost for ad space reached $5.6 million on average for a 30-second slot, maintaining the same cost that was registered during the Super Bowl LIV in 2020, and almost double the cost in 2010 – $2.7 million.

To put things into perspective, the average TV ad broadcasting costs for a 30-second slot can reach up to $115,000 for high-end production broadcasted nationally.

On the lower end of the spectrum, you could find a 30-second slot in a local TV for anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the CPM. Put simply, CPM is the price for your ad to be seen by 1,000 people (cost-per-thousand impressions).

Source: Statista 2021. Super Bowl average costs of a 30-second TV advertisement from 2002 to 2021

Going back to the first one of our Super Bowl statistics, a 30-second slot during the 2021 edition reached the whopping 5.6 million dollars! In comparison, the first commercial ever to air on a Super Bowl was just $37,500 back in 1967.

And this is considering the fact that traditional Super Bowl advertisers such as Budweiser and Coca-Cola didn’t participate in the bidding this year because they were dealing with losses from the global pandemic. Next year, it could possibly reach a new high.

Let’s take a quick look at how prices have been evolving over the years:

Year Price for 30 sec. Year Price for 30 sec.
1967 $37,500 2016 $4,500,000
1968 $54,500 2017 $5,000,000
1969  $55,000 2018 $5,200,000
1970 $78,200 2019 $5,300,000
1971 $72,500 2020 $5,500,000
1972 $86,100 2021 $5,600,000

 

2. What is the most expensive Super Bowl commercial ever?

If 5.6 million dollars didn’t already seem like an impossible sum for many companies, it is far from the most expensive slots ever sold during this sporting event.

The most expensive Super Bowl commercial in the events’ history costed $16.8 million. During the Super Bowl in 2020, Google and Amazon both spent this amount for a 90-second ad slot to promote their competing virtual assistants Alexa and Google Assistant.

Google’s Super Bowl ad for their virtual assistant 

Other historically expensive slots include:

Cost Company Duration Year
$16.2 million 84 Lumber 90 sec. 2017
$16.2 million Ford 90 sec. 2017
$16.0 million  Chrysler 120 sec. 2017
$15.6 million Amazon 90 sec. 2019
$15.6 million Kia 90 sec. 2019
$15.2 million Samsung Galaxy 120 sec. 2013

3. Which was the most watched Super Bowl ad online?

Next on our list of Super Bowl statistics is no less amazing than the previous ones. In fact, the power of this event extends to far beyond people watching on TV. Many advertising slots help companies gain a huge visibility and brand awareness online.

The most watched Super Bowl ad online was Alexa’s Body by Amazon, registering a total of 120 million views across online channels, of which 78 million views on YouTube alone. It aired in 2020, and the advertising slot costed Amazon $16.8 million.

Super Bowl statistics: Top 10 Commercials by Total Views Online by Marketing Charts.

The second most viewed commercial, gaining more than 46 million views across top video platforms and websites was Jeep’s “The Middle”, followed by “Expedition” from Paramount+.

Super Bowl statistics: Amazon’s commercial Alexa’s Body reached a total number of 120 million views online.

4. How much advertising revenue does the Super Bowl generate?

Of course, when talking about Super Bowl statistics, we can’t simply focus on single companies spending millions of dollars on advertising slots. Now, let’s see some data on a more global scale.

According to Statista, companies spent a total of 449 million dollars on in-game advertising during the big game in 2020. However, according to Kantar initial estimates, 2021 was a record breaking year, driving the whopping $485 million in revenue.

Super Bowl statistics: In-game ad revenue by Kantar Advertising Insights.

Despite the fact that sales were reported to get off to a slower start than usual after the whole globe was impacted by the pandemic, CBS was able to push past the finish line, Kantar says.

Another thing to take into account when discussing advertising revenue for the Super Bowl is reach and ROI.

While its true that these two metrics often exceed other broadcast events, it is difficult to measure the actual results, especially between TV and different streaming platforms.

5. How much has ad rates increased over the years?

Next on our interesting collection of Marketing-related Super Bowl statistics takes a look at how rates increase over the years. The rate of $5.6 million per 30-second slot represents a 6.7% increase compared to the rate in 2020 – $5.25 million.

super bowl statistics

The rate in 2020, in turn, was also 12% higher than 2018. A big reason why this could be happening is the increasing use of streaming platforms, which means that more people are able to watch it in the most comfortable way for them.

However, the most important reason that always determines the prices in advertising, independently from the channel, is almost always competition. When there are more competitors, bids are higher, and companies need to bid hire in order to win the auction.

In this sense, 2021 was a particularly interesting year.

Advertising rates increased compared to last year despite the fact that many traditional Super Bowl advertisers, such as Coca Cola, PepsiCo and Budweiser decided to not take part in it as the world continues to grapple with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

6. How many commercials are there during the Super Bowl?

Although it varies each year, the average number of commercials during the Super Bowl is 70. However, it has been decreasing gradually over the years, with 64 ads in 2021, 70 ads in 2020, and 91 ads in 2019. 2021 registered a -29% decrease compared to the number of ads in 2019.

Despite seeing higher advertising rates than ever before, it is definitely worth noticing from a Marketing perspective is that the number of commercial has actually been decreasing over the last few years.

super bowl statistics marketing

Number network TV commercials in the Super Bowl from 2003 to 2020 by Statista

Following a peak of 102 commercials back in 2017, the Super Bowl only registered 91 in 2019, 70 in 2020, and it barely reached 64 in 2021.

We are now seeing fewer commercials, but longer in duration and more expensive.

7. How many minutes of ads are there in the Super Bowl?

Although the total advertising time may vary per year, there are approximately 50 minutes on average during the Super Bowl event. In 2020, total ad time amounted to 46 minutes from 70 ads, increasing from 41 minutes in 2019.

Super Bowl statistics: Length of network TV commercials in the Super Bowl from 2003 to 2020 by Statista.

After an all-time peak in 2013, during which a total of 52 minutes of commercials (3,100 seconds) were recorded, the overall length dropped to as little as 41 minutes (2,460 seconds) in 2016, and it has been staying on the lower end over the past few years.

In 2020, the duration increased back again, although it didn’t really reach the all-time peak.

8. Which is the most popular Super Bowl commercial time slot?

Talking about Super Bowl statistics from a Marketing perspective, another interesting thing to pay attention to is how long exactly are the commercials.

In 2021, following the same trend from previous years, most commercials during the Super Bowl had an average duration of 30 seconds. There are some variations, of course, including companies going as high as 120 seconds or as little as 15 seconds.

9. Which was the largest-ever advertising purchase in the Super Bowl?

The largest advertising purchase was recorded in 2019 during the Super Bowl LIII, when the brewing company Anheuser-Busch bought 8 commercials in total: one 60-second slot, four 45-second slots, and three 30-second slots, for a speculated price of over $25 million.

The company’s advertising strategy covered seven products among five brands – including Budweiser, Bud Light, Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer, Michelob Ultra, and Stella Artois.

super bowl statistics marketing

Super Bowl statistics: Anheuser-Busch spent $25 million for commercials in 2019

Later, the company was sued by rival MillerCoors for false advertising over their Bud Light commercial during the Super Bowl LIII, which claimed that MillerCoors’ products contained corn syrup.

But let’s go back to out initial statement. I couldn’t find much information about how much exactly Anheuser-Busch spent for their 8 ads in 2019, as apparently they didn’t want to disclose this data.

However, according to CNBC, considering the fact that 30-second ad spots costed about 5 million dollars during the Super Bowl in 2018, they could have easily spent upwards of $25 million for the total purchase.

10. How has COVID impacted the Super Bowl in 2021?

To finish our Super Bowl statistics with something a little bit different, let’s take a look at how the global coronavirus pandemic has been impacting the game in 2021.

While the real data from the 2021 game edition hasn’t been out yet, an interesting research by Unruly calculated that Super Bowl ads will be 150% more likely to make people laugh than traditional commercials.

The main reason why is because many companies are taking a humoristic approach to employ as a welcome alternative and antidote to the stressful 24-hour news cycle.

After a harsh year in which the whole globe was impacted by the pandemic, brand are showing more sympathy and trying to provide a degree of comfort and reassurance to consumers as a way to counteract depressive headlines.

However, this is not the only way in which the pandemic has impacted the Super Bowl.

As we mentioned previously, many brands – including Budweiser, Coke, Pepsi and Hyundai decided to not advertise during this time of the year. For Budweiser, this will be the first time in 37 years that the brand will not be present on TV with one of its memorable ads.

Instead, Anheuser-Busch has decided to donate the money that they usually spent for Budweiser on Super Bowl advertising (they will advertise for other brands, such as Bud Light and Michelob Ultra)  towards COVID-19 vaccination awareness efforts.

And that was all from me for today! I hope you liked my article on the best Super Bowl statistics from a Marketing perspective, and I hope to see you in the next one! Now, it’s your turn – are there interesting or important Super Bowl statistics that I forgot to mention? Which ones did you like the best? Let me know in the comments below!


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