Super Bowl Scores Nearly $4 Million Per Spot

This year’s average Super Bowl commercial price is expected to climb to about the same level as a year ago — close to 10% — with many commercials bought at $4 million for a 30-second commercial.

Average pricing for a 30-second commercial for this year’s big football game on Feb. 3 on CBS featuring the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will hit around $3.8 million, according to industry executives. Nielsen says Super Bowl pricing in 2012 on NBC was $3.4 million on average for a 30-second commercial, up around 9% or $300,000 from 2011.

Automotive commercials has been more dominant than ever. Nielsen says automotive was the top category, outspending beer category by nearly threefold in 2012: $90.5 million. (Auto was at a collective $23 million in 2008).

The beer category was a distant second place at $31.5 million in 2012. Movie marketers and soft drink advertisers came next, each at around $21 million. Next was general consumer advertisers at about $10 million.

Big auto brands last year included Dodge Ram, Acura, Audi, Chevy, and Fiat. Top beer brands included Budweiser and Bud Light.

The Super Bowl is a better platform for viewing commercials — even messaging that has already aired on TV. Many Super Bowl commercials are typically new creative, produced especially for that day. Nielsen says last year’s Super Bowl ads were 34% “more memorable” and 42% “better-liked” than commercials that aired just a month earlier.

Last year’s Super Bowl XLVI pulled in another record for an individual TV show — 111.3 million viewers.

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