They Don't Call It Super For Nothing

Just in time to distract football fans from the frenzy surrounding the playoffs, TNS Media Intelligence has been crunching its own stats, putting the all-important Super Bowl in its proper advertising perspective. It turns out that as far as commercials go, the Super Bowl isn't just the game. It's the only game.

Last year's Super Bowl contained more than 47 minutes of ads, including house ads promoting other ABC programs.

In the past 20 years, advertising during the Super Bowl has accounted for 682 minutes, or more than 11 full hours.

All told, spots have come from 1,400 commercials by 221 different advertisers, and account for more than $1.72 billion of network advertising sales. The top five Super Bowl advertisers alone have spent $613.4 million, or 35% of total ad dollars spent in the game. They are Anheuser Busch, Pepsico, General Motors, Time Warner and Walt Disney.

The cost of an ad on game day has more than quadrupled in the past 20 years, and is reportedly costing more than $2.6 million for each 30-second spot.

The biggest surprise is that the No. 1 ad category isn't beer, or even pick-up trucks: By far, the biggest is always promotional advertising for whichever network is running the game--and typically accounts for 25% of all commercial time. In last year's game, the value of that air time exceeded $52 million.



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