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The Business of Super Bowl Ads

January 28, 2019

1 min read

Tens of millions of Americans get amped up to watch the Super Bowl every year, but not everyone is necessarily a football fan. Many people tune in strictly to see the latest and greatest TV ads from some of America’s most popular brands.

Super Bowl ads are notoriously funny, creative, and over the top. In some cases, they can feature movie stars or celebrities that swell production budgets. For that reason, people will pile in front of the TV to watch them, with football playing second fiddle.

Advertisers spend all that money to build their brands and attract new customers. Last year, 103 million people watched the Super Bowl, giving brands exposure to lots of eyeballs–and their ads are often given a second life on YouTube, where they can be watched over and over again.

And advertising is one of the reasons that football is such a big business. In 2018, advertisers spent an average of $5.24 million for a 30-second ad, totaling up to $482 million overall, according to industry data. Since the Super Bowl first debuted in 1967, advertisers have spent nearly $5 billion on airtime.

Here are the biggest Super Bowl spenders over the past two decades, according to market research firm Kantar Media.

Top Super Bowl Advertisers 1995-2017

Source: Kantar Media, 2019

Top Super Bowl Advertisers: Companies (2018)

These companies were the most prolific advertising spenders during last year’s Super Bowl (2018):

Source: Kantar Media, 2019

Top Super Bowl Advertisers: Sectors

On a broader scale, which industries spend the most showcasing their goods and services during the Super Bowl? Traditionally, spending is dominated by a few key sectors–and that remained true during the big game in 2017, according to industry data.

  1. Food and beverage – $84.6 million
  2. Automotive sector – $71.8 million
  3. Media – $63.1 million

Get in on the Action

These companies–and others–are spending big bucks on Super Bowl Sunday to make sure consumers know about their products. You can invest in companies like these by purchasing stocks and ETFs on Stash.

By Sam Becker

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