Are Superbowl Ads Worth It?

The recent Superbowl win by the Packers was watched by a record number of viewers, from California to Katy TX, and the advertising time was priced to match, with 30 seconds retailing for roughly $3 million. While the Superbowl is one of the few remaining media events with a true nationwide draw, do those ads represent a good value for advertisers?

On one hand, Superbowl ad inventory consistently sells out, and the market thus speaks to the ads’ value. But what about a comparison with other TV ad time? How do Superbowl ads compare on a CPM basis?

Here are the statistics from a 2007 blog post entitled The Ad Man Answers #4:

Super Bowl TV:  $2,600,000 per spot / 93,890,400 x 1,000 = $27 CPM
Columbus newspaper: $6,680 per insertion / 231,881 x 1,000 = $29 CPM
San Fran KFOG radio: $900 per spot / 104,864 x 1,000 = $9 CPM
Ent Weekly magazine: $72,025 per week/ 6,162,853 x 1,000 = $12 CPM
LA freeway billboard: $20,000 per month / 5,640,000 x 1,000 = $4 CPM

This year’s Superbowl was priced similarly, with 111 million views for $3 million, or a CPM of $27.02.

The Ad Man also provides the following general CPM statistics:

Typical Advertising CPMs
Outdoor = $1-5 CPM
Cable TV = $5-8 CPM
Radio = $8 CPM
Online = $5-30 CPM
Network/Local TV = $20 CPM
Magazine = $10-30 CPM
Newspaper = $30-35 CPM
Direct Mail = $250 CPM

Based on these metrics, Superbowl ads look to be quite a reasonable buy, particularly for advertisers that want to reach a broad swath of American consumers about Orlando moving companies from With the NFL at an all-time high in ratings and interest, and Superbowl ads having become their own phenomenon, it’s no wonder that advertisers line up to take part!

The Saints’ Long March

For most of their history, the New Orleans Saints have actually been the worst franchise in American sports history [1] – though that didn’t stop me from becoming a die-hard fan. The Saints didn’t even have their first winning season for twenty years after joining the NFL, and didn’t win their first playoff game until 2000, 33 years after inception. With the current season offering long-suffering Saints fans their best ever shot at a Super Bowl and a championship, I thought I’d take a look back at how far today’s Saints have come, in graphs:

This graph, showing the Saints winning percentage by decade, makes the progress more obvious:

With the incredible (still going!) season that the Saints are having, we have closed out our first winning decade! This is a far cry from the 60’s and 70’s teams that typically won 3 games a season. Here’s to establishing a tradition of winning in New Orleans, starting in Miami this year!

[1] On what grounds do I, a loyal Saints fan, categorize the Saints as the worst franchise in sports for most of their history? For starters, the Saints were the last team in the NFL to win a single playoff game (exluding the Texans, whose history is only eight seasons long). When looking at other sports, consider that even the Los Angeles Clippers have been to the postseason as many times as the Saints, and they did it in fewer seasons.

All data for the graphs can be found here.