How Much Does A Super Bowl LIII Ad Cost?

Super Bowl LIII Week at the NFL Media Center.
Mike Zarrilli / Getty Images

For many people, watching the commercial advertisements during the Super Bowl is just as entertaining as watching the game itself. The New England Patriots will face off against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday night in Super Bowl LIII, and companies are shelling out big bucks to grab those ads that will air between plays. How much are they paying? Sources reveal that the current price tag is more than $5 million per 30-second ad.

According to Adweek, CBS is charging approximately the same amount as was charged last year for Super Bowl advertising. The outlet notes that CBS is not saying as much publicly as they often have in the past about how well their ad sales are going — apparently in large part due to former chairman and CEO Les Moonves no longer being there to brag about it.

Despite a more low-key approach to sharing scoop on how their advertising sales are going, all signs seemingly point toward the numbers being right where the network wants them to be. The Motley Fool details that despite the fact that some signs would point toward CBS being able to raise rates this year, with the NFL having something of a bounce-back year over last year — that hasn’t necessarily been the case.

Overall, Super Bowl advertising costs have essentially plateaued over the past few years. Thirty-second ads for the 2019 game are reportedly going for between $5.1 to $5.3 million, very much in line with the $5.24 million average that NBC held when they televised the game last year.

Bloomberg theorizes that the Super Bowl ad pricing may have hit its peak. They note that the game is still typically the most-watched television event each year, making it an attractive advertising opportunity. However, audience numbers have plateaued or declined over the past few years — and advertising pricing seems to be reflecting that reality.

The pressure is on when advertisers are investing more than $5 million per ad, and consumers have high expectations. These investments often focus on new products, rebranding efforts, or catchy approaches. It’s becoming more and more common for the ads, or sneak peeks of the ads, to be released prior to airing during the Super Bowl.

All signs point toward consumers seeing plenty of new ads Sunday night, as it seems that CBS had already sold more than 90 percent of its open time — more than a week ahead of the game. The game represents two huge television markets with New England and Los Angeles involved, so it seems that advertisers are feeling hopeful that their $5 million-plus investment per 30-second spot will be money well spent.

Which ads will generate positive buzz, and which ones will fall flat? Will the commercials outshine the game itself? Answers are about to be revealed as Super Bowl LIII finally gets underway, with the Patriots going up against the Rams.