It’s nearly here! Last year, the Super Bowl was watched by 115 million Americans – but for many, the game isn’t even the main attraction. Along with the halftime entertainment, many tune in just for the ads – which have a reputation for being some of the best, funniest, and most heart-warming TV spots in the world (along with having some of the biggest budgets). In fact, a 2022 survey found that found that as much as 42% of the audience is more interested in the ads than the game itself.
It turns out the trend for ‘event style’ Super Bowl ads dates back at least as far as 1980 when Coca-Cola ran a 60-second spot featuring the infamously “Mean” footballer Joe Greene turning nice. The McCann-Erickson ad was such a favourite it was even adapted into a TV movie in 1981.
Just a few years later, Apple stepped it up a notch with their iconic ‘1984’, an Orwellian sci-fi drama directed by Ridley Scott, featuring an athlete throwing a hammer into a screen to free slaves from the clutches of Big Brother. It was epic, gutsy, experimental, and… it worked. The ad has since been added to The Clio Awards’ Hall of Fame, and in 1995, Advertising Age ranked it as the greatest commercial of all time.
The Super Bowl then went on to become THE place to debut your big ad, and audiences expect them to be GOOD. Iconic ads like Wendy’s ‘Where’s The Beef’, Volkswagen’s ‘Darth Vader’, E*TRADE’s ‘Monkey’, Snickers’ ‘You’re Not You’ (with Betty White) and a seemingly endless roster of Budweiser, Skittles and Dorito’s viral classics were all Super Bowl babies. Even McDonald’s basketball hit ‘Nothing But Net’ was unveiled during the NFL’s season decider.
Of course, exposure like this doesn’t come cheap, with the price of a 30-second spot increasing almost every year. Fox, which broadcast the 2023 Super Bowl, took in more than $600 million in advertising revenue tied to the game. Last year, a 30-second Super Bowl commercial cost a record-high average of $7 million, according to Forbes.
Perhaps that’s the secret to why Super Bowl ads have become so loved. When you’re spending $7 million just to run your ad once, you want to make sure it’s a damn good ad. Much like the Super Bowl itself, this is one situation where you can’t afford to fumble.Write a comment