The cost of Super Bowl commercials in 2022 has reached a record high, with some ad spots being sold for $7 million. Bloomberg reported that some Super Bowl ads cost $7 million, while NBC News reported that many advertisements were sold for $6.5 million.
Massive viewership drives the huge price tag for Super Bowl ad spots. Super Bowl LV was watched by 91.63 million viewers in 2021, according to NBC News, and that wasn’t even the most watched Super Bowl game of all time. That award goes to Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 where the New England Patriots faced off against the Seattle Seahawks with 114.44 million people watching, the news station reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
Super Bowl 2022 Commercials Cost $1 Million to $1.5 Million More Than They Did Last Year
Some ad spots for Super Bowl LV are being sold for as much as $7 million, Bloomberg reported. An NBC executive announced through NBC News that commercials were closing for $6.5 million for a 30-second spot. Last year, the company was asking for $5.5 million for its Super Bowl ads.
At the first Super Bowl in 1967, NBC sold commercial spots for $37,500, while CBS was selling commercials for $4,500, according to NBC. By 2000, Super Bowl commercials had exceeded $2.1 million, and exceeded $4 million in 2015, NBC News reported.
“Since the Super Bowl is one of the most-watched broadcasts on television every year, there is no better platform to reveal fresh advertisements to the world,” NBC News reported. “The game is broadcast on over 225 different television stations, aired on about 450 radio stations and viewed by approximately 180 countries across the globe. The game is appealing to all.”
Marketing professor Tim Calkins told CNN Business that a $7 million price tag is a good deal for advertisers. Beyond the air time during the Super Bowl itself, Super Bowl ads become a talking point for viewers, especially for those who watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials.
“The Super Bowl is more and more important because it’s a shared experience,” Calkins told CNN Business. “And what’s interesting is a lot of people watching the Super Bowl don’t even really care about the game. They’re watching the ads.”
Historic Super Bowl Ads Are Still Memorable Decades After They Aired
Some of the most famous Super Bowl commercials are recognizable by those who weren’t even alive to see them air. A 1979 Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial features Steelers star Mean Joe Greene talking to a young fan, lightly brushing him off until he accepts the child’s Coke. To thank the boy, he tosses him his towel, saying, “Hey kid, catch.”
Greene’s performance was begrudging, according to Sportscasting. He wanted to turn down the offer because of his lack of acting experience.
“Greene initially turned down the offer, fearing he didn’t have any acting experience. His agent tried to convince him it was a great opportunity with one of the biggest brands in the world. The player eventually relented and agreed to do it,” Sportscasting wrote.
That ad spot likely cost around $200,000. NBC News reported that in 1980, Super Bowl ads cost $222,000. In 1975, the cost was $107,000.
And that wasn’t the only Super Bowl commercial to become cemented in cultural history, some for positive reasons and others because of a controversy, NBC News reported.
“Yes, the Super Bowl is about football, but the advertisements scattered throughout the game have become a cultural phenomenon in their own right, and a viewing experience designed to go viral before even the internet came along,” NBC News reported. “They’ve previewed major product releases (See: Apple’s Macintosh computer in 1984), spun up controveries (Ram using a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sermon to sell trucks in 2018) and created defining commercial icons (Budweiser’s Clydesdales, since the 1990s).”