How Much It Cost to Buy a Commercial at Every Super Bowl in History

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The Super Bowl is not only America’s most-watched sports event of the year, it is usually among the most-viewed events of any kind in the United States. And that’s why advertisers trip over themselves to pay ever-increasing costs for a spot during the big game.

To determine what a Super Bowl commercial costs the year you were born, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on the cost of a 30-second ad spot for every Super Bowl in NFL history from Nielsen. Costs for a 30-second ad spot were adjusted for inflation using Consumer Price Index data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Official Game results came from ESPN.

Average pricing for advertising on the broadcast of the Super Bowl LVII – pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the Philadelphia Eagles – is between $6 million and $7 million for 30 seconds, according to Fox Sports executive vice president of advertising sales Mark Evans.  

Some of the ads themselves have been memorable: Apple’s nod to George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” in 1984; banged-up Steelers lineman Joe Greene tossing his jersey to a starstruck boy in a Coca-Cola ad; a Snickers spot featuring Betty White; a McDonald’s ad of Michael Jordan and Larry Bird in a basketball shooting duel….

Besides the commercials and the game itself, people tune in to watch the halftime show that has featured some of music’s most famous performers – including Katy Perry, The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, and the various rap and hip-hop artists who headlined the halftime show in 2022. (See who has performed at every Super Bowl halftime show.)

The rising viewership of the Super Bowl is in contrast to the declining interest in other annual television events such as awards shows. For advertisers, the big game is one of the few remaining opportunities to reach a television audience that isn’t fragmented. 

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