Super Bowl Advertisers Get Ready to Rumble - eMarketer

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Super Bowl Advertisers Get Ready to Rumble

Super Bowl ad revenues neared $332 million last year

January 20, 2015

The Super Bowl is here yet again. As sports fans tune in to cheer on their chosen team, the always-popular unveiling of commercials will lure in plenty of other viewers—polling last year by Venables Bell & Partners found that 78% of US Super Bowl viewers looked forward to the commercials. According to recent data from Kantar Media, advertisers are likely spending more dollars than ever to reach this audience.

Super Bowl Ad Rates and Total Ad Revenues, 2005-2014

Last week, Kantar reported that total ad revenues from Super Bowl 2014 reached $331.8 million—up nearly 14% from $292.0 million the year before. This was higher than ad revenues for other major 2014 sporting events including the baseball World Series ($257.0 million over seven games) and the NCAA’s men’s basketball Final Four games ($182.1 million over three games). Average cost per 30-second spot also increased from $4,000 to $4,200 between Super Bowl 2013 and 2014.

Despite the rise in rates, advertisers still paid more to run longer ads—ideal for telling a compelling story. During last year’s Super Bowl, 60-second-plus placements accounted for a massive 40% of all paid ads during the game. This was up from 29% in 2013 and 27% in 2012. Looking at the trend over a longer timeframe, ads over 60 seconds represented just 18% of paid Super Bowl placements in 2010.

More advertisers have joined the Super Bowl action over the past few years. First-time parent company advertisers rose from six to nine between 2013 and 2014 to represent 23% of advertisers during last year’s Super Bowl, and Kantar said that NBC had reported selling time to 15 first-time participants this year.

US TV Ad Spending, 2013-2018 (billions, % change and % of total media ad spending)

Overall TV ad spending growth isn’t in line with Super Bowl dollars. eMarketer expects US TV ad spending to total $70.59 billion this year, representing 37.3% of total media ad spending. While spending will continue to increase, growth has plateaued, and the channel will lose share of paid media ad spending throughout our forecast period to digital placements.

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