When it comes to advertising … the Super Bowl is supreme.

Super Bowl XLVISuper Bowl ad placements have the reputation of being the most pricey ones on television. And based on an analysis by Kantar Media of Super Bowl ad activity over the past decade, that perception is quite accurate.

According to Kantar’s analysis, over the last ten years the Super Bowl game has generated more than $1.7 billion in network ad sales from more than ~125 companies.

Just five Super Bowl advertisers account for more than one-third of the activity, led by – no surprise here – Anheuser-Busch:

Anheuser-Busch: 10-year advertiser … ~$239 million
 PepsiCo: 10 years … ~$174 million
 General Motors: 8 years … ~$83 million
 Disney: 10 years … ~$74 million
 Coca Cola: 5 years … ~$67 million

It doesn’t seem that long ago when the rule of thumb was that a 30-second ad for the Super Bowl game would set you back one million dollars.

That’s not the case any longer. In fact, the average rate for a :30 ad increased by ~40% over the past decade, reaching $3.1 million in 2011.

[And for 2012, the ad rate is expected to be even higher at $3.5 to $4 million per spot — a double-digit increase.]

At such stratospheric prices, you’d expect only a handful of ads to be longer than 30 seconds. That’s true to a degree; only about one in five of the Super Bowl ads are :60 spots. But compare that to just ~6% of ads on broadcast networks being long-form.

And if it seems as if you’re seeing more advertising during the Super Bowl game than in years past … you’re not hallucinating. Back in 2006, the volume of commercial time for ads during the game was ~44 minutes. That rose to ~46 minutes as of 2011, and will probably continue to creep upward in 2012 and beyond.

Most Super Bowl advertisers are big consumer brands. But Kantar also finds that nearly one-third of Super Bowl advertisers allocate more than 10% of their annual media budgets into the game. Clearly, it’s not only the big Hollywood film studios, car companies or food brands that are shelling out the bucks for the Super Bowl.

Kantar Media also compared advertising volume for the Big Game against the dollar volume of ads placed during other major televised sports events, such as the Baseball World Series and the NCAA Final Four Mens Basketball. In nearly every year, the one-day Super Bowl out-pulled these multi-day sporting events when it comes to raking in the ad dollars.

To sum things up, even in the world of advertising where the only constant is change … some things don’t change all that much.

One thought on “When it comes to advertising … the Super Bowl is supreme.

  1. Surely one thing that makes the Super Bowl a premium ad buy—in addition to the colossal audience—is the broadcast’s (justifiable) reputation as an advertising showcase. People actually watch the commercials! And then talk about ’em around the water cooler…

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