The stage is set for Super Bowl LVIII. The San Francisco 49ers will face the Kansas City Chiefs for the right to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. One team will leave the field covered in confetti, and they will return home to parades and praises. The other team will leave Las Vegas in fear and loathing, desperately hoping to forget the night completely.
The championship game is definitely a big moment for the teams and fans involved, but it's also a significant night for advertising firms and companies.
Super Bowl commercials have become a cultural phenomenon. While some people tune in to watch the game, many see the event as a three-hour advertisement reel with a football game shown during the breaks. It's the only time every year that people get genuinely excited for commercial breaks.
Last year, Super Bowl LVII averaged 113 million viewers across Fox's television and digital properties, per CNN Business. That made last year's Super Bowl the third most-watched program in television history. The Apple Music Halftime Show featuring Rihanna drew an average of 118.7 million viewers, making it the second most-watched performance in Super Bowl history. Only 15.5 million viewers stuck around on the network to watch the following program.
The NFL has played a large role in keeping cable television alive, and the Super Bowl remains the most coveted event for advertisements.
How much does a Super Bowl commercial cost?
The production of a Super Bowl commercial isn't cheap. Much like the players, companies that land a spot in the Super Bowl have to put out their best performance. That means paying for elaborate or star-studded commercials, as well as big-time directors and writers. Once the commercial is made, getting one of those coveted 30-second spots is more expensive than it has ever been before. Despite the high price tag, in-game advertisements sell out every year.
When the first Super Bowl took place in 1967, the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl advertisement hovered around $42,500, per Front Office Sports. Since then, ad prices have increased by 16,371 percent.
After adjusting for inflation, the price tag of a Super Bowl in 1967 rises to almost $400,000, but it's still pennies compared to the cost of a Super Bowl LVIII commercial.
In 2024, the average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl commercial stands at $7 million. That comes out to $233,333 per second.
The history of Super Bowl commercial cost