Some 193.8 million adults in the US plan to watch Super Bowl 54 this coming Sunday, per a survey of more than 7,200 US adults from NRF. That’s upwards of 11 million more viewers than last year’s projected viewership of 188.5 million. The amount of planned retail spending surrounding the game has also grown from 2019’s $14.8 billion to $17.2 billion this year.
The average spending per person is expected to climb this year to $88.65 after staying at $81 for the past two years. And, once again this year the most popular spending area, for 80% of viewers, will be food and beverages, with team apparel and accessories being a distant second (11%).
Super Bowl Ad Stats
Super Bowl ad prices rose 3% for 2019’s Super Bowl 53, with the average price for a 30-second spot reaching $4.51 million, per the latest research from Kantar (Please note that dollar amounts are different from previous year reports due to a methodology change in the underlying source data.) This is the second-highest rate charged for the game, after 2017’s $4.7 million.
From start to finish, Super Bowl 53 had a total ad time of 49 minutes and 31 seconds. This is about 2 minutes less than in 2018, yet the number of spots rose to 91 in 2019 compared to 86 in 2018.
Super Bowl ad revenue reached its highest point of $498 million in 2017, and hasn’t been able to match that in the couple of years since ($411 million in 2018; $412 million last year). When broken down, pre/post game revenue stood at $76 million last year, while in-game ad revenue dropped somewhat from the previous year to $336 million. To put that figure in context, the $336 million spent on in-game advertising last year far exceeded all the money invested across the 7-game World Series, which totaled $ 191 million.
Here are some other stats from Kantar Media’s latest annual analysis:
- Thirty-second ads are still the norm, with half (51%) of ads in last year’s big game being that length. Longer ads (60-seconds or more), which accounted for 31% of all Super Bowl ads in 2018, dipped slightly to 28% in 2019, but remain more pronounced than in 2017 (19%).
- Anheuser-Busch InBev continued to be firmly at the top of the Super Bowl spenders list in 2019, investing $52 million in advertising. By comparison, Amazon which was #2 on the list, spent less than half as much ($23 million).
- There were 7 first-time advertisers in 2019. While this is higher than the 3 in 2018, it is still below previous years (2015: 11; 2016: 10; 2017: 10).
- As has been the case since 2011, Auto Manufacturers remained the top advertising category last year. Five automakers ran ads in 2019 for a total spend of $59 million. Media was in second place among advertising categories with a total spend of $27 million, followed by Food (excluding candy), with ad spend totaling $23 million.
Who’s Watching the Super Bowl for the Ads?
When NRF asked people about the most important part of the Super Bowl, it found a divide between men and women. Nearly half (47%) of men say the game is the most important part, while only 19% of women say the same. Instead, women (20%) are more excited about the commercials than men (13%), And, although some 29% share of women say they don’t watch the Super Bowl, 14% think the halftime show is most important (versus 7% of men).
For Super Bowl 52 (2018), brand recall looked to be on the rise, as Unruly reported that more than three-quarters of viewers could correctly identify the brands behind the ads. For Super Bowl 53, data from Unruly looked at something a bit different: shareability.
The percentage of viewers willing to share Super Bowl ads appears to be static: 38% indicated that they would share 2019’s Super Bowl ads, which compares to 37% who said they would do so in 2018 and 40% in 2016.
Just like with shareability, there were mixed results when it came to viewers being inspired to find out more about a brand after viewing ads. Last year 41% said they wanted to find out more, which is better than in 2018 (35%), but down from 2016 (43%). The same pattern repeats for purchase influence: last year’s ads inspired 42% of viewers to say they were willing to make a purchase off the back of the ads, up from the previous year’s 38%, but down from 2016’s 47%.
What Super Bowl 53 ads did have going for them was humor. Separate data from Unruly reports that 2019’s Super Bowl had the funniest ads in history. Some 11% of viewers found the ads humorous, compared to the 4% average across Super Bowls.
Ace Metrix echoes the emphasis put on humor in Super Bowl ads. Its analysis of Super Bowl ads between 2014-2019 found that 60% were funny (compared to 25% of all ads). It ranked sparkling water brand Bubly’s “Can I Have a Bublé?” as Super Bowl 53’s funniest ad.
For advertisers looking to get a laugh, shorter ads seem to be the way to go. The majority of the top Super Bowl ads in 2019 for each of these categories were 30 seconds. However, the majority of the most heartfelt and ingenious ads were 1 minute or more in length.