Super Bowl Ads Not as Cost-Efficient As You May Think

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Analysis from The Price Gun Store shows ad prices during Super Bowl continue to rise despite recent drop in overall viewership.

The Price Gun Store, one of the largest distributors of price guns in the country, is releasing the findings of an analysis of Super Bowl commercial spending, which finds that due to advertising prices continuing to rise for Super Bowl commercials despite a recent drop in viewership, Super Bowl ads may not be as cost-efficient as companies think.

According to the analysis, Super Bowl viewership rose steadily until a decrease in 2013. However, the cost for a 30-second spot in millions has continued to rise steadily:

For instance, in 2011, there were 111,041,000 estimated viewers that tuned-in to Super Bowl XLV. The cost for a 30-second spot in millions was $3.1 million, meaning that the average cost per viewer was 2.8 cents. Compare that to 2013, when 108,693,000 viewers watched Baltimore and San Francisco battle it out in Super Bowl XLVII - 2,348,000 less viewers than in 2011. Yet the average cost for a 30-second commercial spot rose to $3.8 million, meaning that the average cost per viewer also rose to 3.5 cents.

The analysis also found that companies can save significantly by waiting to air commercials until the big game has ended. Whereas it costs $3.8 million for a 30-second spot during the game, that number drops drastically to $800,000 after the game has ended. While it's true the viewership level also drops, 87% of the game audience is still tuned in, making the average cost per viewer 0.8 cents compared to 3.5 cents during the game.

Another option is Sunday Night Football. In 2013, a company airing a 30-second spot during the Sunday night game spent approximately $593,694 to reach 21,700,000 viewers, making the average cost per viewer 2.7 cents, or 0.8 less than Super Bowl XLVII.

Not surprisingly, when Super Bowl spending from 2002-2011 is analyzed, Anheuser Busch leads the way, having spent approximately $246,200,000 in spots for popular beers Budweiser and Bud Light. PepsiCo follows with $209,700,000, then General Motors with $135,200,000. GM chose not to advertise in the 2013 Super Bowl, citing the cost, but is expected to run two 60-second ads in this year's big game.

About The Price Gun Store
With more than 30 years of experience, is one of the largest and most established price guns and price labels distributors in the country, carrying brands like Monarch, Garvey, Meto, and more. For more information on, call 800-346-780 or visit

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Lauren Zumpano

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