The most-watched event of the year, Super Bowl LVI, took place on Sunday, February 13, 2022. The big game was broadcasted on NBC, where fans could watch the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals or enjoy the impressive yet expensive advertisements.
I watch the Super Bowl for the creative ads each year. But I’ve always been curious how much companies pay to show an advertisement during the year’s most-watched event. According to SuperBowl-Ads.com, NBC charged $6.5 million for a 30-second airtime ad slot during Super Bowl LVI. Each time slot was sold out weeks before the Super Bowl aired.
Compared to what NBC charges to air ads during other broadcasting times, $6.5 million is extremely expensive. AdAge explains Sunday Night Football is one of the most expensive shows to air an ad during; it costs about $800,000 for a 30-second slot. NBC’s new show, Ordinary Joe, is about $118,000 for the same 30-second slot.
Why do prices differ so significantly? How many people do Super Bowl ads reach? ESPN reports that Super Bowl LVI had approximately 112 million viewers, a 6% increase from 2021. If 112 million people viewed a 30-second ad priced at $6.5 million, the cost is less than $.06 to reach each person. On the other hand, only about 1.3 million people watch Ordinary Joe, which costs about $.09 to reach each viewer for a $118,000 ad.
Promoting a brand during the Super Bowl is a big and expensive stride for companies, but it may just be what they need. Advertising during the Super Bowl is the fastest way to reach over 100 million people for less than $.06 per person. Advertisers must evaluate factors such as how many people the ad needs to reach and how much is in the budget to spend on an ad’s airtime. So, if you’re willing to loosen the purse strings (by a lot), you may just gain 100 million new customers.
Natalie Devlin, Account Associate