Super Bowl Ad Spending Reached $1.6 Billion Over Past 10 Years

Doug Benc

Movie spots often face the challenge of clutter as many studios promote several films, according to Kantar Media, which says the number of auto marketers is setting a record this year.

NEW YORK -- Advertising spending on the Super Bowl amounted to $1.62 billion over the decade from 2001 through 2010, according to data from research firm Kantar Media.

Based on reported ad rates for this year, it estimated that advertising on next month’s Super Bowl on Fox will amount to more than $200 million. Last year, CBS recorded $205.2 million, and 2009 saw a high of $213 million for NBC, Kantar said.

According to the firm’s data, the past 10 years saw 425 minutes of total advertising time during the game, or more than seven hours, and more than 850 spots.

Ad prices over the past decade peaked in 2009 with the average cost of a 30-second spot reaching about $3 million, followed by a slight drop last year amid the recession. This year, Fox reportedly sold out ads months ago for around $3 million again, Kantar summarized.

Meanwhile, Super Bowl time spent on ads topped out last year at 47 minutes and 50 seconds.

The 2011 Super Bowl will feature a record number of auto manufacturer ads following a rebound in auto ads over the past year, according to the research firm. It said that as many as nine brands from six auto companies -- BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, General Motors (returning to the game after a two-year absence), Hyundai and Volkswagen -- will make an appearance. Last year had set a record for the past decade with nearly $30 million spent on six different brands.

Anheuser-Busch InBev will again have the largest ad buy in the 2011 game, according to Kantar.

Over the past five years, the top ad category by dollar value is promotional advertising from the network itself, according to its data. In a typical Super Bowl, 15 percent-20 percent of all ad time is a plug for the network’s programs. Last year, such house ads had a value of more than $49 million.

Excluding plugs for the own network, dot-com firms have been the most prolific ad category in the past five years except for 2008, when six film advertisers edged out five Internet and four auto marketers. Last year, five dot-coms edged out four car marketers and three movie advertisers.

“Competitive message clutter within the motion picture sector is more severe” than the data implies, because studios typically promote multiple films, Kantar said. “Last year, there were ads for six different films, and in 2009 there were spots for nine different releases.”

The top five Super Bowl advertisers of the past decade, including Walt Disney as No. 3 with an estimated total of $70.8 million, spent $592 million on ads during the game, accounting for 36 percent of total ad revenue over the period, according to the Kantar data.