More than 100 million Americans — and millions more viewers across the world — will sit down on Feb. 3 to watch Super Bowl LIII. While most will be interested to see whether the Los Angeles Rams or New England Patriots win the Lombardi Trophy, many will be more interested in the often hilarious or heartfelt commercials that brands will unveil during the big game.
Because of the size of the audience, brands are willing to shell out millions of dollars for just one 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. CBS, which will broadcast Super Bowl LIII, is reportedly charging between $5.1 million and $5.3 million for a 30-second TV ad during the game, according to Variety.
Since the first Super Bowl kicked off in 1967, advertisers have paid billions to get their message in front of audiences watching the big game. In addition to the high price of a Super Bowl commercial slot brands are willing to pay, many also often coordinate a major corresponding online marketing push for the campaign.
As the Super Bowl draws closer, 24/7 Wall St. has created a list of the brands that are the biggest Super Bowl advertisers of all time. Food and drink brands like Budweiser, Pepsi, and Doritos have created and aired dozens of Super Bowl commercials, as have car makers like Ford, Toyota, and Hyundai.
Because it is a large investment, companies need to make it count, so they go all out to make the advertisements as memorable as possible. Brands have often aimed to make their commercials very funny by including wacky characters and celebrity cameos. Other brands aim for a heartwarming ad spot, like the unforgettable 2014 Budweiser commercial featuring a puppy and horse that become friends. The most popular Super Bowl ads often serve as a viral marketing tool, racking up millions of views online after the big game.
To identify the 50 biggest Super Bowl advertisers of all time, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data compiled by Ad Land, a website that reports on advertising. These figures are meant to be approximations of total advertising by these brands. Total spending is based on the reported cost of a 30-second ad from Ad Age each year, adjusted for inflation. Not all years of data were compiled by Ad Land, and the Super Bowls in 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1977, and 1978 did not have data available. In the case of television channels or other media platforms, in which the product advertised were specific television shows or video games, we excluded the brand. We combined advertising for different products of the same brand, such as Coca-Cola and Diet Coke and Budweiser and Bud Light.