Super Bowl Economy: Marketers Spent $1.72 billion for 11 Hours of Ads Over the Past 20 Years

Advertising during the Super Bowl game has accounted for 682 minutes (over 11 hours) of commercial time throughout the past 20 years (1987-2006), representing 221 different advertisers, more than 1,400 commercial announcements,  and translate into $1.72 billion of ad sales, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The top five Super Bowl advertisers of the past 20 years have spent $613.4 million on advertising during the game, accounting for 35% of total advertising dollars spent in the game. 

TOP 5 SUPER BOWL ADVERTISERS 1987-2006

Rank Advertiser # of Years With Ads In Game Ad Spend ($ millions)
1 Anheuser Busch 20 $250.8
2 Pepsico 20 $190.0
3 General Motors 15 $65.7
4 Time Warner 11 $63.4
5 Walt Disney 7 $43.5
  Top 5 Total   $613.40
Source: TNS Media Intelligence

The Price of Advertising: $2.6 million for 30-second spot this year
The cost of an advertisement in the Super Bowl has more than quadrupled in the past 20 years, reaching $2.5 million in 2006 for a 30-second unit. 

  • For the 2007 game, CBS is reportedly fetching over $2.6 million for each 30-second spot.
  • The ABC telecast of the 2006 Super Bowl contained a record amount of over 47 minutes of ads. 

The  most frequently advertised category the Super Bowl is not from beer, soft drinks and autos, but the perennial leader is promotional advertising from the network itself - almost one-fourth of all commercial time is a plug by the network for its own programming. 

How Big is the Super Bowl Vs. Other Sporting Events?
The World Series is four to seven games. March Madness peaks with the semi-finals and championship on its final weekend, a total of three games. The Super Bowl, of course, is a single telecast. And while the World Series may have a higher advertiser retention rate than the Super Bowl, the Super Bowl still rakes in more network TV ad dollars than each of the other multi-game events.

MAJOR SPORTING CHAMPIONSHIPS NETWORK TV AD REVENUE ($ MILLIONS)

Year Super Bowl Game World Series
(# games)
NCAA Basketball Final Four
(# games)
2001 $ 136.4 $ 136.3 (7) $ 88.7 (3)
2002 $134.2 $ 141.7 (7) $ 101.9 (3)
2003 $ 124.7 $ 124.9 (6) $ 117.6 (3)
2004 $ 147.3 $ 114.6 (4) $ 126.4 (3)
2005 $ 159.2 $ 147.5 (4) $ 142.2 (3)
2006 $ 162.5 $ 160.8 (5) $ 154.7 (3)
Source: TNS Media Intelligence

 

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