DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Super Bowl ads have long been the most expensive advertisements on the air. This year, brands paid $7 million for a 30-second spot during the game. But are they still worth the money?
For many fans, the Super Bowl commercials are almost as important as the game, and companies will spend millions for a few seconds of that coveted air time. Despite the changing media landscape, the ads have only gotten progressively more expensive over the past two decades.
“This is the only opportunity every year, year after year, where you can reach over 100 million Americans in one fell swoop,” said Traci Freling, a marketing professor at UT Arlington.
She studies the Super Bowl ads every year but doesn’t think they’re always worth about $200,000 per second.
“I have to sort of question the wisdom of that, especially because it’s a situation where the consumers themselves are more judgmental and skeptical than ever,” Freling said.
Freling does believe the game is a good fit for food and beverage brands, car companies, and Hollywood promotions. “We expect our funny bones to be tickled,” she said. “We don’t expect our heartstrings to be tugged or to be thinking about something really serious during the Super Bowl.”
That’s why some fans were surprised by two spots campaigning for Jesus. A Christian group paid about $20 million for the ads, and they were created by a firm in Dallas.
“I just don’t know how it’s going to play,” Freling said. “It’s a high-risk, high-reward environment. You are spending a lot of money.”
Iconic Super Bowl commercials are remembered for years, if not decades.
“If you can strike that kind of Super Bowl gold, it’s worth it,” she said. “I don’t know that I saw any heavyweight contenders this year for that sort of epic, historic status – but maybe we’ll see.”