Super Bowl 55: The Most Expensive Super Bowl Commercials Cost More Than You'd Think

The Super Bowl is upon us. Of course, most sport’s fans are excited to see the outcome of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs but there is one thing that casual sports’ viewers and avid football fans can all look forward to: the Super Bowl commercials. Every year, companies spend insane amounts of money on commercials for the most watched timeslot of the year. So, what are some of the most expensive commercials of all time?

How much does a Super Bowl ad cost?

Super Bowl commercials are like the Olympics of commercials. Companies pull out all the stops for their commercials. This year, there will undoubtedly be several celebrity appearances, ill-placed jokes, and above all, lots of money spent.

Ad space during this Super Bowl 55 actually went for about $100,000 less than last year, according to Sporting News, which is the opposite of how the price normally trends. Despite the reduction in price, CBS still started the bidding of 30-second commercial time slots at $5.6 million. This price does not include the ads being shown on CBS’ Super Bowl livestream, which will cost an additional $300,000.

What are the most expensive Super Bowl commercials of all time?

Over the years, some Super Bowl commercials have seriously broken the bank. Each year, companies up their budgets and shell out more money to appear on the screen for just 30 seconds.

Amazon’s 2018 Alexa commercial with Cardi B, reportedly cost $15 million, according to the Seattle Times. The ad was 90 seconds and included big names like Sir Anthony Hopkins, Gordon Ramsay, and Rebel Wilson, along with Cardi B.

In 2011, Chrysler ran an ad that was estimated to have cost $9-$10 million, according to Fox Business. The ad introduced the Chrysler 200 and ran for a whopping two minutes, which is much longer than most ads.

Bud Light’s “Up for Whatever” ad in 2014, cost the company $12 million to promote “The Perfect Beer for Whatever Happens.” It featured Arnold Schwarzenegger, Minka Kelly, OneRepublic, and Don Cheadle.

Some brands are opting out

This year’s Super Bowl is unlike any other. The world is entrenched in a pandemic due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Instead of spending millions of dollars on a Super Bowl commerical, Budweiser decided to donate the money to help fight the pandemic.

“We have a pandemic that is casting a pall over just about everything,” Paul Argenti, Dartmouth College professor of corporate communication said of the reasoning behind Budweiser’s decision. “It’s hard to feel the exuberance and excitement people normally would. It’s a tough year to do an ad. It will be a good year for creative companies who figure out how to thread that needle.”

According to NewsRadio 1120 KMOX,  Anheuser-Busch’s other brands like Bud Light and Michelob Ultra will all have ads as per usual.

The Super Bowl will air on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST on CBS.

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