How much can $26 million buy in today’s world? Well, it could buy a really big house, a lot of fast cars or a number of other items. In the case of Anheuser-Busch, $26 million can buy a few commercials during the Super Bowl.I know a million bucks isn’t worth what it once was, but $26 million on advertising for one game? I think it’s a little steep, even for a multibillion-dollar corporation. It only goes to show that Super Bowl advertising has gotten to the point where it’s as much of an attraction as the actual game.
Anheuser-Busch was one of many companies looking to get in on some of the most expensive television advertising. Game viewers saw adds from companies like FedEx, ABC, Pepsico Inc., Pizza Hut and many others. All of these companies paid $2.5 million for a 30-second slot, a price that didn’t include production costs.
I’m not going to say that companies shouldn’t pay what they think it’s worth to advertise during the Super Bowl, but I am going to say that it’s gotten a little out of hand. The commercials are getting to be bigger than the game. This year, as in years past, you can get online and view your favorite ads from last Sunday’s game.
As much hype as the actual game generates, you wouldn’t think anything could be more important to anyone watching it on the tube. But, lo and behold, as we were watching the game last Sunday, a friend at the party yelled out: “Everyone shut up, there’s a commercial break!”
Huh? It used to be that people were encouraged to talk during the commercials, not the show. Although, I guess if a company is going to pay $2.5 million for 30 seconds, the least we can do as viewers is pay attention. And as anyone who watched the game knows, some of the commercials were pretty entertaining.
Anheuser-Busch’s best commercial, and the favorite of many viewers, featured a “magic fridge” that disappeared so friends of the owner would not steal his treasured Bud Light. What the owner didn’t know was that the fridge disappeared into the next apartment, and his neighbors were getting a free treat. Now that’s great television.
An amount of $2.5 million for 30 seconds sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? At first glance, yes, but in reality, maybe it isn’t. There are a few reasons shelling out almost $30 million to advertise during a football game might be worthwhile.
Number one: it isn’t just a football game, it is The Football Game. Believe me – —I hate the hype – but I can’t argue with the fact that it is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. I have friends who think Super Bowl Sunday should be a holiday and they aren’t kidding around.
This is why it’s astonishing to think that the commercials have gotten to be as big of an attraction as the game. It’s the biggest football game in the world, not to mention one of the biggest sporting events of any kind. And in some circles, the commercials are drawing as much attention as the game.
According to Baltimore WJZ News, 90 million people were expected to watch the game last Sunday. If that entire audience watched every one of Anheuser-Busch’s commercials, 90 million potential customers would have seen roughly 10 30-second slots advertising Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob Light.
Now, not every one of those 90 million viewers was over 21, but even if half of them were, that means that 45 million possible customers watched roughly five minutes worth of beer commercials. That’s great advertising, even for $26 million, especially if it works.
If Bud Light, Budweiser, and Michelob Light sales drop off the table in the coming weeks, the people at Anheuser-Busch are going to need more than a couple brews to make them feel better. But with the number of people who saw the ads, if they are successful, it’s going to turn out to be a great investment.
Dan Plate is a freshman business major from Ogallala, Neb.