Sold-Out Oscars' $1.7M Price Tag Draws 14 Major Advertisers

Sold out for months, ABC announced a partial list of 14 advertisers for this year’s Academy Awards -- including many longtime repeat marketers.

With a price tag of $1.7 million to $1.8 million for a 30-second commercial, big event marketers and companies advertising include JCPenney, Johnson & Johnson, American Express, General Motors, Coldwell Banker, McDonald's, Unilever (one for Dove brand and another for the Lipton brand), AARP, Mars, Pepsi, Samsung, Sprint, Chattem and Sunovion.

Media buyers say the event has been sold out for months -- with pricing up from the $1.6 million to $1.7 million range for the 2013 event. “The 86th Academy Awards” hosted by Ellen DeGeneres will air March 2.

Analysts have long called the Oscars telecast the “Super Bowl for Women” because the glitz and glamour of the event -- and its large audience -- has attracted major female-targeted and general-interest consumer products and services.  

In recent years of the show, from 2010 to 2012, there were 21 different advertisers in the Oscars, according to Kantar Media -- about a third or so that also air commercials in the Super Bowl. Versus other TV network programming, there is far less commercial time per hour in the Oscars -- around nine and a quarter minutes, versus some 12 minutes to 14 minutes of total advertising time for other TV programming.

The 85th Oscars broadcast in 2013 had 40.3 million viewers, up from 39.3 million viewers in 2012.

While the Oscars continues to be the second-largest individual TV show after the Super Bowl, nipping at its heels has been a growing Grammy Awards show, which airs on CBS.

Media buyers say the musical award event now grabs around $1.0 million for a 30-second commercial. In late January, the Grammys show pulled in 28.5 million viewers -- the second-largest in 1993.

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