Advertisers made it rain on CBS this year, spending an estimated $220+ million on Super Bowl XLVII ads to make us want their products.
CBS reported that the average price of a 30-second Super Bowl commercial was about $3.8 million, and I counted roughly 60 ads, not including network and NFL promos, during more than two dozen commercial breaks in the game.
Do the math, and that is nearly $230 million, not including money from sponsorships or from several longer ads of one and two minutes.
Of course, not everyone pays the reported prices. Presumably long-time advertisers and those buying spots later in the game pay less money. Considering that, InvestorPlace put the expected take for Super Bowl 2013 ads about $220 million.
That fits with what Neil Klar, CEO of media cost forecaster SQAD, told Bloomberg News. He estimated that CBS would earn about $225 million in total from Super Bowl XLVII ad revenue.
(Update: Senior analyst Deana Myers with SNL Kagan told Examiner.com that after talking with CBS executives and advertisers post-Super Bowl, she puts the total for 2013 Super Bowl commercials at $238.
Myers said in speaking to CBS, she was told the network broke even or took a slight loss on Super Bowl ad revenue. However, that is normal for networks that air the game, since they make it up in pre- and post-game advertising, as well as in the networks own promotional spots that air during play.)
According to a report issued last year by Kantar Media, between 2002 and 2011, Super Bowl commercials generated a total of $1.72 billion for the various networks that have carried the game. Top spenders among the advertisers included Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi, both of whom made appearances this year.
If the estimates of the $220 million range for Super Bowl 2013 ads is correct, that would indicate a slip from previous years, according to Kantar’s research, even though individual ad prices rose by almost 18 percent this year.
Kantar’s report shows that Fox earned nearly $228 million in 2011, when the average Super Bowl ad cost $3.1 million, or about $700,000 less than this year’s spots.
And while prices were higher, advertisers might not have gotten as much mileage out of the money spent on their 2013 Super Bowl ads.
Ratings for Super Bowl XLVII fell this year, drawing about 3 million fewer viewers than in the previous two years, according to USA Today. The mid-game power outage also caused some Super Bowl commercials to air later than expected, when viewership would have started dropping off.
Of course, there is also the Internet, where nearly all of this year’s advertisers have posted their Super Bowl commercials for a tiny fraction of the money they paid CBS.
So the question is, money spent on Super Bowl 2013 ads worth it? Do you think it was money well spent for the advertisers, or did it feel like a big waste?