Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

Yes, Super Bowl ads are expensive, but compared to what?

At an estimated $7 million for 30 seconds of airtime this year, Super Bowl ads were by far the priciest ad inventory anywhere. The cost of advertising in the big game has doubled since Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012, according to Nielsen data cited by Back then, advertisers had to “only” shell out $3.5 million for a 30-second spot. 

That translates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% over that 11-year span. Yet, in that same time frame, viewership has barely risen, TV ad spending is down slightly, and the consumer price index (CPI) doesn’t come close.  

So if Super Bowl ads were a return specialist, they’d be returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Here’s how other indicators changed in the same time frame:

  • Super Bowl viewers are up 0.2%. Yes, that’s a decimal point, so viewers grew by two-tenths of a percent, according to citing Nielsen.
  • US TV ad spending is down 0.3%. Again, fractional, but this is a decrease rather than an increase, according to our estimates.
  • US TV viewers were down 22.1%, according to our estimates.
  • The US CPI was up 2.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest data for January 2023.

That said, there’s one metric that’s actually ahead of Super Bowl ads: average costs per thousand for primetime upfront broadcast and cable ads. Those prices rose by CAGRs of 8.4% and 8.3%, respectively, in the 11 years from the 2008–2009 upfront season to the 2019–2020 season, according to Media Dynamics Inc.

Granted, it’s a different time period from the one cited earlier, but that’s the last time Media Dynamics released this data. In the same 11-year time span, Super Bowl ad prices rose by 6.0%. At least by one measure, Super Bowl ad price increases aren’t so, well, pricey.

For more discussion of Super Bowl ads, from pricing to favorite spots, tune in to this episode of “Behind the Numbers: The Daily.”

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.