More than 100 million Americans — and millions more viewers around the world — will sit down on Feb. 2 to watch Super Bowl LIV. While most will be interested to see whether the San Francisco 49ers will earn their sixth win on the largest stage in American sports or the Kansas City Chiefs will be the ones winning their second title, many will be more interested in the commercials that will be unveiled during the big game.
Because of the size of the audience, brands are willing to shell out millions of dollars for just one 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. Fox, which will broadcast this year’s Super Bowl, is reportedly charging around $5.6 million for a 30-second TV ad during the game, according to Ad Age.
To identify the biggest Super Bowl advertisers of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data compiled by Adland, a website that reports on advertising, and ranked brands by the highest estimated total combined ad spending for all Super Bowls, adjusted for inflation. Food and drinks brands like Budweiser, Pepsi, and Doritos have created and aired dozens of Super Bowl commercials, as have car makers like Ford, Toyota, and Hyundai. These are the 100 most valuable brands in the world.
These figures are meant to be approximations of total advertising by brands, and these figures likely underestimate actual totals. Total spending is based on the reported cost of a 30-second ad from Ad Age for each year. We combined advertising for different products of the same brand, such as Coca-Cola and Diet Coke and Budweiser and Bud Light. Adland does not compile data for all years — Super Bowls in 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1977, and 1978 did not have data available.
Because ads during the Super Bowl are a large investment, companies need to make them count, so they go all out to make the advertisements as memorable as possible. Some brands opt to make a funny commercial by including wacky characters and celebrity cameos. These are America’s most loved TV personalities.
Other brands aim for a heartwarming ad spot, like the unforgettable 2014 Budweiser commercial featuring a puppy and horse that become friends. The most popular Super Bowl ads often serve as a viral marketing tool, racking up millions of views online after the big game.
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