The Super Bowl has always captured America’s attention. Since its inception in 1967, between 30% to 50% of all Americans have watched the big game each year. With such a large viewership, it’s not just the NFL’s biggest day — it is the Super Bowl for advertisers as well.
Major corporations shell out millions of dollars for just 30 seconds of air time, guaranteed to be watched by at least 100 million Americans and many millions more across the globe. The two most recent Super Bowls, held in 2017 and 2018, each reportedly commanded a $5 million price tag for a 30 second spot, according to Ad Age, a media company that reports on advertising.
Yet Super Bowl advertisements were not always this pricey. The average cost of an ad spot in Super Bowl I was just $40,000. Adjusted for inflation, that is still less than $300,000 — less than a 10th of the current price tag.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed historical costs of a 30-second commercial spot in all 52 Super Bowls to determine the cost of a Super Bowl commercial the year you were born. Data was provided by by Ad Age.