Historical Advertising Data Showcases Super Bowl’s Biggest Spenders, Rising Ad Rates and More Cluttered Air Time
New York, NY, January 18, 2011 – Among sports fans, the escalating interest surrounding Super Bowl XLV is focused on which team will earn the championship trophy for its performance on the field. But within the advertising industry, the swelling noise comes from discussion about the TV commercials that will appear during the game and the eternal debate of whether the Super Bowl is an astute marketing investment or fool’s gold.
Kantar Media has mined its extensive database to report on the past 10 years of Super Bowl advertising. From 2001 through 2010, the Super Bowl game has accounted for 425 minutes – over seven full hours – of commercial time representing more than 850 announcements and $1.62 billion of network advertising sales.
Top Five Super Bowl Advertisers
The top five Super Bowl advertisers of the past 10 years have spent $592 million on advertising during the game, accounting for 36 percent of total advertising revenue. Anheuser-Busch InBev and Pepsico lead the pack, followed by Walt Disney, General Motors and Coca-Cola.
Anheuser-Busch InBev will again have the largest ad buy in the 2011 game. General Motors will be returning to the Super Bowl stage after a two-year absence.
The Price of Advertising
The average cost of a 30-second advertisement slipped a bit in 2010 amidst a recessionary environment. Stronger demand is expected to result in higher pricing for the 2011 game with Fox reportedly selling 30-second units for around $3 million, a level that would translate to more than $200 million in total ad revenue.
The amount paid by individual marketers will vary depending on where the ad runs in the game, how much commercial time is purchased and whether the advertiser opts for a larger package that includes spots in the pre-game and/or post-game coverage.
More Advertising, More Clutter
Over the past ten years, the volume of commercial time in the game has been edging upwards even as the price of advertising has become more expensive. The CBS telecast of the 2010 Super Bowl contained a record 47 minutes, 50 seconds of network ads. This included paying sponsors, commercial messages from the NFL, plus “house ads” aired by CBS to promote its own shows. A total of 104 individual messages were aired, making it the first Super Bowl telecast to exceed the century threshold.
First Time Advertisers
In recent years, the Super Bowl ad lineup has featured between 30 and 40 different companies annually. First-time advertisers are accounting for 20-25 percent of the ad roster, providing a steady influx of new faces eager for the recognition and brand-building opportunity of the Super Bowl spotlight.
Some of the first-time advertisers in last year’s game were Electronic Arts, HomeAway, Monsanto and Skechers USA. For the 2011 contest, the rookie lineup is expected to include Best Buy and Pizza Hut.
Small Players on a Big Stage
The flow of first-time advertisers has produced a parallel trend: an expanding parade of small marketers who invest a hefty chunk of their annual budget in the Super Bowl. In 2010, a record one-third of the Super Bowl advertisers put more than 10 percent of their full-year media budgets into the game.
Heading last year’s roster of these highly leveraged sponsors was Focus On The Family, an evangelical non-profit organization. Its estimated 2010 total ad spending was $4.71 million and the Super Bowl accounted for $2.97 million (63 percent) of the amount. HomeAway (52 percent) and Diamond Foods (42 percent) rounded out the top three companies in this ranking.
Top Super Bowl Advertising Categories
What kinds of products are most frequently advertised on the Super Bowl? The popular perception is that beer, autos and soft drinks are the prime ad categories, given their regular presence in the game.
Actually, the leader by dollar value is promotional advertising from the network itself. In a typical Super Bowl, 15-20 percent of all commercial time is a plug by the network for its own programming. In 2010, the value of this air time exceeded $49 million.
Over the past decade, the Super Bowl has attracted a bevy of different movie studio, automotive and dot-com companies, making these the most populous and competitive ad categories.
Competitive message clutter within the motion picture sector is more severe than the table implies because studios habitually use their inventory to promote multiple films. Last year, there were ads for six different films and in 2009 there were spots for nine different releases.
An Impending Auto Traffic Jam
The 2011 Super Bowl will be notable for a record number of auto manufacturers running commercials, a reflection of the bullish surge in category advertising over the past year. Based on corporate announcements, as many as nine different auto brands from six different parent companies (BMW; Chrysler Group; Daimler; General Motors; Hyundai; and Volkswagen) will go head-to-head.
Statistics from the past ten Super Bowls show that auto advertising reached a crescendo in 2010 with nearly $30 million spent on 5 ½ minutes of air time in support of six different brands.
With so many competing messages, it will be that much harder for any individual brand to stand out from the pack.
How Large Is The Super Bowl Versus Other Sport Franchises?
The Major League Baseball’s World Series and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship are two other high profile sporting events that attract significant interest from TV advertisers. But how do these compare to the Super Bowl in terms of ad spend?
The World Series is four to seven games. March Madness peaks with the semi-finals and championship on its final weekend, a total of three games. The Super Bowl, of course, is a single telecast. In recent years, it has been pulling away from March Madness and exceeds the World Series in years when the Fall Classic last five games or fewer.
About Kantar Media
Established in more than 50 countries, Kantar Media helps clients master the world’s multimedia momentum through analysis of print, radio, TV, internet, cinema, mobile, social media, and outdoor worldwide. Kantar Media offers a full range of media insights and audience measurement services through its global business sectors – Intelligence, Audiences, TGI and Custom. Kantar Media companies also include Compete, Cymfony and SRDS. Drawing upon the deepest expertise in the industry, Kantar Media tracks more than 3 million brands and delivers insight to more than 22,000 customers worldwide. www.KantarMediaNA.com