Big Brands Backing Out of Super Bowl TV Spots Because Of $4M Price Tag

November 5, 2013  |  

A scene from one of the most successful Super Bowl ads ever, “The Force”

Big corporations are raising eyebrows at the price tag for Super Bowl always expensive ad spots. With the cost up to a whopping $4 million per 30 seconds, some popular brands are skipping out on one of the most prestigious commercial spots of our time, Business Insider reports.

Over the past five years, the cost of landing an ad spot during the Super Bowl has risen drastically. In 2008, no brands complained about paying $2.7 million. But last year’s $3.8 million price tag started to alarm some of the usual Super Bowl brands — like GM. “We understand the reach the Super Bowl provides, but with the significant increase in price, we simply can’t justify the expense,” said CEO Joel Ewanick.

The frugal chief executive got canned and replaced by Tim Mahoney. Despite the hefty costs, Mahoney plans to advertise on the upcoming Super Bowl. “The Super Bowl is a great stage for showcasing the Chevrolet brand and our newest cars and trucks,” he said.

Of course, not everyone agrees with Mahoney. The Subway sandwich chain is rejecting the Super Bowl’s $4 million sticker price and looking for a better option. “You can make an argument that the total cumulative audience across the Winter Olympics is actually bigger than what you are going to get in the Super Bowl,” said CEO Tony Pace. According to Nielsen, 108.4 million people watched last year’s Super Bowl. The 2010 Winter Olympics attracted 24.4 million primetime viewers. And according to NBC, “190 million people watch[ed] some of the games on one of NBC Universal’s networks.”

Even Cars.com, which has been a part of the Super Bowl for the past six years, is opting out of February’s football frenzy.  Business Insider says the site does not have a campaign that would justify paying that kind of money. Instead, the auto company just plans to distribute their ads throughout next year.

The number of dropouts, however, could be insignificant. Fox still sold 85 percent of its Super Bowl TV spots by the end of August. This year, you will see Nestlé’s commercial for their new Butterfinger peanut butter cup. And in competition with Pepsi and Coke, SodaStream will launch its first official TV commercial on the Super Bowl.

Stay tuned for the Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 2. Bruno Mars will be performing!

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