How Much Did Companies Pay for Their Superbowl Ads?

Thomas Smith
Photo byWatch for the Ads

Lots of people who don’t care at all about football still watch the Super Bowl. Why? The ads!

Super Bowl ads have become an opportunity for companies to roll out new campaigns, introduce new products, or make people laugh with a hilarious, celebrity-studded spot.

How much are companies paying for the ability to advertise during the big game? In 2023, companies reportedly paid $7 million for a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl. That works out to $233,000 per second to advertise during the game.


Of course, that’s just a small part of what companies pay overall for the Super Bowl ads. In addition to the actual cost of running the ad during the broadcast, there are all the costs associated with producing it.

Between hiring a creative agency to design the ad, hiring a studio producer, paying talent, and obtaining celebrity endorsements, companies can easily spend millions of dollars just on the production side for the Super Bowl commercials.

As if $7 million wasn’t enough to spend–you also need to shell out millions more to have something worthwhile to show during the big game.


Is all this actually worth it? In 2023, an estimated 113 million people watched the Super Bowl. That means companies paid about six cents to reach each person with their commercials.

In industry terms, that’s a cost per mille of around $60. In other words, it cost about $60 to reach 1,000 people during the game.

To put that in context, the average television commercial during a typical broadcast has about a $19.50 CPM. That means Super Bowl advertising is a lot more expensive than advertising during the rest of the year, even though it reaches far more people in one broadcast!

Clearly, though, companies feel that advertising during the Super Bowl is worth it. Part of this is the fact that the Super Bowl commercials often drum up a lot of social media interest, online discussion, and more. All of this helps to get the brand’s name out there.

In fact, as of 2016 some brands saw a 36.5% increase in brand awareness after running a Super Bowl ad.


Companies often debut edgy or controversial commercials during the Super Bowl. That seeds the discussion that later continues online and can keep the brand’s name in front of people long after the commercial itself.

That’s probably a big part of why companies are willing to pony up the tens of millions of dollars it costs to advertise during the Super Bowl.

They get the benefit of being in front of millions of people all at once, but they also get the ongoing discussion that comes from being part of the cultural conversation. For the brands with the budget to make it happen, that makes Super Bowl advertising very worthwhile!

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Award-winning entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of Gado Images. Thomas writes, speaks and consults about artificial intelligence, privacy, food, photography, tech, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As a professional photographer, Thomas' photographic work regularly appears in publications worldwide. Pitches/news tips:

Lafayette, CA

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