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What’s 30 seconds worth to you?

The biggest advertising opportunity of the year is happening Sunday. This is also known as the Super Bowl, but there are many people (myself included) who watch the Big Game solely for the entertainment value of its advertisements.
These commercials go for top dollar – even in our slow economy. Certain companies won’t be advertising, because it’s just plain wrong to use your government bailout money (our taxpayer dollars) on severely overpriced Super Bowl ads. It would just be irresponsible for them to do so. There won’t be a single ad from a U.S. automaker, and very few from financial institutions.
But many companies who can afford the $3 million price tag for a 30-second spot are doing so. They may be barely able to afford it, but many companies are hoping it proves to be a smart investment. Budweiser, who has been a Super Bowl staple for the last decade, will no doubt wow viewers again this year. But you should also keep your eyes peeled for one-second spots from Miller High Life, whose ads will poke fun at the frivolousness of Bud’s extravagant commercials.
So why is a Super Bowl advertisement still going for so much money? Probably because the Super Bowl is the greatest single sporting event of the year. In fact, the price of a 30-second commercial has actually increased about 11 percent since last year. In 2008, the average price of a Super Bowl ad was $2.7 million. Now it’s between $2.9 million and $3 million.
NBC has sold a lot of Super Bowl spots at this price, but as of Thursday (which is three days away from the Big Game), there were still two commercial spots yet to be sold. I wonder what happens if they don’t sell. Will NBC discount these ad spots? They haven’t yet, which means they probably won’t. With new layoffs being announced every day for major U.S. companies, it’s a wonder that any business entity can afford a 30-second ad. However, the potential payoff is huge. Last year’s Super Bowl viewership was about 97 million people, but isn’t expected to be as high this year. Nevertheless, it should still be one of the most-viewed television events of the year.
This is why ad prices are so high. Advertisers are paying $100,000 per second to reach this high number of viewers. But when many people have been laid off or are just budgeting their disposable income, they probably won’t want to spend money on a product just because it had a funny commercial.
On the flip side, during a recession, people are yearning for signs of normalcy. They want an escape from the dim economic outlook. I think this is why advertisements for movies will work during the Super Bowl. In fact, DreamWorks is distributing 150 million pairs of 3-D glasses for an ad they’re running for their new film, “Monsters vs. Aliens.” This is perhaps one of the greatest media advertising efforts ever.
Regardless of your outlook on the economy, just watching the game and it’s advertisements can offer a distraction from our financial system, whether you buy into the commercials or not.

Liz Crawford is a staff writer at the Ennis Daily News and can be reached at liz@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Jan 30 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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