Super Bowl Commercials: The Most Expensive 30 Seconds on TV

A terrifying shot from the Mountain Dew Zero Sugar ad, a spoof of "The Shining," starring Bryan Cranston. (YouTube/Mountain Dew)

With the Super Bowl now in the rearview mirror, we reflect on the thrilling comeback of the Chiefs, the electrifying halftime show with Jenifer Lopez & Shakira and most importantly the commercials that entertained the entire world for 30-second intervals at a time.

Super Bowl commercials have been around since the first Super Bowl in 1967. Since then, companies have continued to fight over time slots for the biggest football game of the year. Nearly every top company in the world has taken their shot at making an advertisement for the Super Bowl ranging from Doritos,  Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Chevrolet, Google, Walmart, etc.

These along with other multi-billion dollar corporations pay an astronomical price tag for a 30-second ad in the game. According to Julian Boorstin of CNBC, CBS in 2019 charged, “a record $5.25 million for just a 30-second spot during the championship.”

Super Bowl commercials are a pivotal reason why people across the world draw their eyes to the big game. Super Bowl ads are the biggest ads of the year because they draw the audience’s attention and pique their interest in whatever product they’re selling. Whether it makes you laugh, cry, or leaves you confused, Super Bowl ads create chatter among the world via social media.

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Amazon’s Super Bowl commercial from 2020, depicting how the world survived without Alexa. (YouTube/Amazon)

Every Super Bowl, there are commercials that become instant favorites in the world. From the classic “Mean” Joe Greene Coca-Cola commercial (1979), Apple’s 1984 commercial (1984), the Budweiser Frogs (1995), the Doritos Ultrasound commercial (2016) and Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day Jeep Commercial (2020), Super Bowl commercials have become a global phenomenon when it comes to shaping the world of commercial advertising. Super Bowl commercials continue to entertain and leave their mark on our popular culture.

Super Bowl commercials are 30 seconds of emotion-filled entertainment. Even though the entertainment covers what the ad is actually selling.  Whether the ads get you out to buy or invest in their product depends on you. However, the product is getting the world talking which in turn gets the ad in the news and media.  Which in turn gets the company to do it all over again next year. 

While they sometimes bring emotions out of us, they also bring the realization of capitalism and consumerism that is instilled in American culture. A lot of the ads that show up during the Super Bowl are the very items that people have around them during the parties they are attending or hosting.

Consumers buy and use a lot of the items that are being sold to us on the ads like: beer, Doritos and soda. Companies spend millions of dollars on the ads, but consumers refund the companies by buying the products for the Super Bowl festivities. 

The Super Bowl game has become a holiday for most people the world over. From watching the two best teams duke it out for the biggest prize in football to the excitement-filled halftime show. But, what truly draws often the most attention to the Super Bowl are those pieces in between the live-action on the field, the commercials.

David Jacobus
Staff Writer

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