Super Bowl commercials are big business -- so big, in fact, that the price per spot has increased an average of 11% a year over the last five seasons. Advertisers practically line up to throw money at the network for the privilege of appearing in front of the massive Super Bowl audience; CBS head honcho Les Moonves even bragged back in November that his ad sales team "could close it out tomorrow if we wanted." He added that latecomers would be begging for spots.
And why not? Super Bowl is THE commercial event of the year!
A survey after the last game found that a whopping 78% of Americans look forward to the Super Bowl commercials more than the game itself. Seventy percent of people even tune in to catch the ads before the game.
TV viewers sure love them some Super Bowl commercials, but more are now watching them online, as well. In fact, 51% of people said they only watched last year's commercials online and didn't see them on TV at all.
Budweiser was all over the cross-screen trend, with the #BestBuds hashtag campaign that accompanied their adorable puppy video. It's earned over 30.7 million views on YouTube and still, with that kind of exposure available online, advertisers are willing to pay more than ever for TV spots before, during and after the game.
Big Super Bowl 50 Commercial Spenders
AdAge just released its Super Bowl 50 Complete Ad Chart, inventorying which advertisers have already bought their spots for the big game. With top spots selling for north of CBS's $5 million asking price, you can bet there are some creative teams sweating out all-nighters right now.
Of course Budweiser is in there, as the exclusive beer advertiser (seriously, there might be rioting in the streets if Budweiser ever stops delivering heart-wrenching animal shorts). No word yet on which spots they scooped up, but expect them to be more product-focused and puppy-free, although the iconic Clydesdales are expected to make a cameo.
Acura is returning after a hiatus; their last Super Bowl ad was in 2012 and featured Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno. It was for the same supercar they'll be pitching this year, the NSX, which will finally be ready to ship in the spring. They'll have a ton of competition in the auto space, with Buick, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mini, and Toyota all committed to Super Bowl buys.
Taco Bell has been trying to build buzz for a new product they'll announce in a 30-second spot in the first quarter. Last week, they put out a redacted press release and, according to AdAge, plans to "leak" more ambiguous information and hold pop-up events in the lead-up to Super Bowl 50 and the big reveal.
Pepsi is sponsoring half-time and also has dibs on one in-game ad, though there's no word yet on when it will appear. The massive exposure they're planning is a bit surprising, given that they opted out entirely last year. There's no official word on what Pepsi has planned, but pop star Ciara made her wishes known when she tweeted that having her own Pepsi commercial is a dream of hers:
(Pepsi told E! News there's nothing happening with Ciara at this point.)
New Faces: Super Bowl 50 Commercial Virgins PayPal, Mountain Dew
Well, Mountain Dew isn't technically a Super Bowl commercial virgin, but they haven't appeared in the big game since 2000. This year, though, they have the new Kickstart line to promote.
PayPal will air its first-ever Super Bowl ad this year, with a 45-second spot in the first quarter. The company has mysteriously promised to "introduce the world to PayPal's vision for the future of money." Intriguing!
Website brand Wix is back for its second kick at the Super Bowl can, with a 30-second spot targeting small business owners, while Intuit's TurboTax software brand is back for the third time with another 30-second ad.
What are you hoping to see in the commercials this year? Because let's be honest, that's why over three-quarters of us are watching. Share your favorite Super Bowl ads and your predictions in the comments!