The Super Bowl is one of the year’s most important sporting events, but the last National Football League (NFL) game is increasingly relevant not only to football fans, but also to brands. It’s during the Super Bowl that they launch their most creative ads of the year—and in order to be successful, they have to stand out from the crowd and truly engage a demanding audience.
The game is key to the dozens of brands and entertainers who recognize the value of advertising during the Super Bowl. It is estimated that a single 30 second TV ad costs brands US$5.3 million to air during the game. Over the 50-minute halftime show, 100 commercials are aired—a total investment of US$530 million.
One of the brands that really stood out this year was Anheuser-Busch, which invested approximately US$59 million into 5.5 minutes of airtime, making it the Bowl’s biggest advertiser. Their commercial combined the Bud Light brand with the last season acclaimed fantasy series Game of Thrones, and its staging and dramatization elicited applause from the audience.
Some advertising, though, is unique; there are brands that get a lot of exposure during the game without commercials or banners. Tiffany & Co., for example, makes the Vince Lombardi Trophy (valued at US$25,000) and the white gold and diamond rings given to players (valued at US$5,000 each).
For some, though, the real show takes place during halftime. Big name entertainers vie to take advantage of the event, as it is a chance to be seen by more than 98 million spectators. Each year, roughly US$600,000 is spent on production, musicians and dancers to entertain the audience.
In 2019, Maroon 5 was the headliner, with special guests Travis Scott and Big Boi. However, it seems the show was not quite what audiences expected—it received a lot of negative reviews, with some even saying it was one of the Bowl’s worst thanks to the minimalist production from the lead band.
It would seem that trying to “keep it simple” was not a good idea, especially for an audience accustomed to highly elaborate performances. So far, the best-rated halftime show was Katy Perry’s in 2015, which was viewed by 118.5 million people. The benefits extended beyond the event itself, with Perry seeing a 211 percent increase in her digital sales during and immediately after the show.
The Super Bowl is a prime example of how advertising and sports are a perfect combination. With peoples’ attention glued to the event, it’s a perfect opportunity to position brands and products in the eyes of the world.