One Cool Thing: Super Bowl ads — what goes into them and a preview of what's coming

A single :30-second Super Bowl ad this year costs $5-5.5 million.

Laura Oakes
January 30, 2020 - 2:43 pm
Football, TV, Stock Image

(Getty Images / LeArchitecto)


Sunday is a big day across America (and really, across the globe) as the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs will do battle in Super Bowl 54 (or LIV if you're into the whole Roman Numeral thing).  

But, the game itself is only part of the story.  There is food and lots of it.  There are gatherings that can compete with Christmas.  And then there are commercials.  The most money spent all year on ads takes place during that four-hour football game, and the expectations for the entertainment value of those ads might be higher.  And that is the topic of this week's "One Cool Thing"!

RELATED: See all of our "One Cool Thing" stories here.

Q: Looks like this weekend's One Cool Thing has a little something to do with a big football game?

A: You guessed it! Super Bowl Sunday is just a few days away, and, if you're like me, you may be more interested in watching all of the fantastic ads more than the game itself. I spoke with Colle McVoy's Executive Director of Media, Steve Knapp, about what goes in to this monumental -and very expensive- day for advertisers.

Q: Why is the Super Bowl such a big deal in the ad world?

A:  It's a big deal because there are so may eyeballs on the TV for companies to hopefully reach with their messaging. The Super Bowl is the single biggest media event of the year with 100 million people expected to tune in. For some perspective, the Oscars are a distant second with approximately 40 million in viewership. Not to mention the findings of a recent survey that show at least 50% of people watching the Big Game are watching for the commercials.

Q: And producing those ads is not cheap.

A: Oh no. A single :30-second Super Bowl ad this year costs $5-5.5 million , with, after talent fees, location shoots, and other variables, can ratchet a company's total investment to between $10 and $20 million. Check out my conversation with Steve below about everything you ever wanted to know about this huge event for advertisers, and some of his favorites that are already getting some pre-game buzz!

Here is the full conversation between Laura and Steve Knapp, plus a few previews of the ads you'll be seeing come Sunday!

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