Super Bowl ads may be considered a bargain for automakers if record audience is reached

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 4, 2011

If the Superbowl audience on Feb. 6 reaches new highs, it’s possible for Super Bowl advertisers such as Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. to end up getting a bargain for 30-second spots priced at a record $3 million or more.

New York advertising executives Peter Gardiner of Deutsch Inc. and Andy Donchin of Carat North America said that the National Football League championship between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers may surpass the record 106.5 million viewers of last year's game on CBS.

Because advertisers bought up all the ads from News Corp.'s Fox last October, advertisers are able to avoid paying the price of the spots that get more expensive closer to the game.

Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer of Audi of America, said that advertisers didn't want to wait as recent Super Bowls have exceeded forecasts for viewers.

In an interview, Keogh said that Audi considers this a “very smart investment.” He added that this is Audi’s fourth Super Bowl, and their experience is that “every year has over-delivered.”

It was two years ago that the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl spot peaked. This was when the Steelers, led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23.

Jon Swallen, senior vice president of research for Kantar Media in New York, said that advertisers paid an average $3 million that year. This price dropped to about $2.97 million last year, when the New Orleans Saints went up against the Indianapolis Colts. [via autonews - sub. required]

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