From Celebrities to Cost: A Look at Super Bowl LVI


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The Business of Super Bowl LVI: A Commercial Breakdown

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and attracts millions of viewers every year. From the exciting game itself to the highly anticipated halftime show and the iconic commercials, the Super Bowl has something for everyone.  This year's Super Bowl LVI was no exception, with over 100 million people tuning in to watch the game. 

In this blog, Hollywood Brandsed will take a closer look at the Super Bowl's viewership, the cost of advertising during the event, and the celebrities who made appearances in this year's commercials. We'll also compare the Super Bowl to the FIFA World Cup, the largest sporting event globally, and examine the differences in viewership and ad costs. So, let's dive in and explore the aftermath of Super Bowl LVI.

Super Bowl 2023

Behind the Scenes: Creating Memorable Super Bowl LVI Ads

The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched events in the US, with over 100 million people tuning in this year. The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad was between $6 million and $7 million, making it one of the most expensive advertising opportunities globally. Although soccer's FIFA World Cup Final is the largest sporting event globally and has a larger audience, a Super Bowl ad has a broader US reach. Several celebrities starred in Super Bowl ads this year, including Alicia Silverstone, John Travolta, Ben Stiller, Sarah McLachlan, and Bryan Cranston.

The Super Bowl Flu Bug

It looks like the secret is out. BUSTED! If you're reading this at home after calling in sick this morning or waking up to multiple colleagues calling in, you or your company has joined the "Super Sick Monday."

According to estimates, 18.8 million Americans are expected to call in sick today after last night's Super Bowl. Are you one of the nearly 1 in 5 people taking a day off? Seems like it should be made a national holiday.

Here's what time Super Bowl 2023 starts, how to watch and more

Super Bowl LVI Advertisements: How Many People Tune In

Over 113 million people are estimated to have tuned in for the game, and we'll find out the exact numbers from the main NBC broadcast, affiliate stations, and streaming channels later this week. Last year's viewership to beat? 112.3 million. 

That metric has mostly stayed the same in the last decade or so. Here's the past estimated average viewership for the Super Bowl:

  • Super Bowl LVI (2023): 113.06 million viewers + ad cost: $7 million 
  • Super Bowl LVI (2022): 112.3 million viewers + ad cost: $6.5 million 
  • Super Bowl LV (2021): 96.4 million viewers, ad cost: $5.6 million
  • Super Bowl LIV (2020): 102 million viewers, ad cost: $5.6 million
  • Super Bowl LIII (2019): 98.2 million viewers, ad cost: $5.25 million
  • Super Bowl LII (2018): 103.4 million viewers, ad cost: $5 million
  • Super Bowl LI (2017): 111.3 million viewers, ad cost: $5 million
  • Super Bowl 50 (2016): 111.9 million viewers, ad cost: $5 million
  • Super Bowl XLIX (2015): 114.4 million viewers, ad cost: $4.5 million
  • Super Bowl XLVIII (2014): 112.2 million viewers, ad cost: $4 million
  • Super Bowl XLVII (2013): 108.7 million viewers, ad cost: $3.8 million
  • Super Bowl XLVI (2012): 111.3 million viewers, ad cost: $3.5 million
  • Super Bowl XLV (2011): 111 million viewers, ad cost: $3 million

Note: These numbers are estimated averages and may vary slightly depending on the source. The ad cost for a 30-second commercial spot has steadily increased over the years, making it one of the most expensive advertising opportunities in the world.

The Cost Of A Super Bowl Ad

Most 30-second Super Bowl advertisement spots were sold for between $6 million and $7 million. That doesn't cover the potentially $1M+ cost of creating the ad or featuring the face of a celebrity. Star-studded commercials come with an extra hefty price tag, with a minimum add-on cost of $1 to 5 million for a mid-tier star. Some celebrities charge up to - or even more than $10 million to be in an ad associated with a brand. This is big business and work that only takes a couple of days.

When it comes to football, soccer, the other football (the legit version from a European point of view) far surpasses the Super Bowl in global popularity. The FIFA World Cup Final, which takes place every four years showcasing the talents of 32 nations, is the biggest sporting event globally and regularly reaches over a billion people. However, a World Cup Final :30 second ad does not even come close to the costs of a Super Bowl ad - topping out under $1.2 million. 

According to FIFA, the 2018 World Cup final between France and Croatia had an average live audience of 517 million viewers, with over 1.1 billion people tuning in for 90 minutes. The preliminary figures for Qatar's 2022 World Cup final indicate that it reached nearly 1.5 billion people. In comparison, the 2022 Super Bowl had an estimated 112 million US viewers and 30 to 50 million viewers outside the US. So if you REALLY want your ad value, World Cup is the winner for a global audience.

If you really want the biggest US audience reach available - then you want the Super Bowl.

The Celebrities In This Year's Super Bowl Ads

There were ads. And then, there were "celebrity ads". 

Celebrities brought back all the feel-goods with their retro reboot ads.

  • Alicia Silverstone took us back to the 90s as she rocked Cher Horowitz's iconic yellow plaid suit from Clueless in a Rakuten ad campaign with Elisa Donovan.
  • T-Mobile grooved with John Travolta, Zach Braff, and Donald Faison, all to the tune of "Summer Nights" from Grease.
  • Ben Stiller wowed as the one and only Derek from Zoolander in a Pepsi Zero Sugar commercial.
  • While not a series or film, Sarah McLachlan got in on the fun with a hilarious throwback in a Busch Light Super Bowl 2023 ad, where she's playfully interrupted by the "Busch Guy" having a little fun with her. 
  • Brian Cox joined Serena Williams, Tony Romo, Alex Morgan, Nneka Ogwumike, and Canelo Alvarez to star in Michelob ULTRA's Caddyshack reboot. 
  • Breaking Bad's power duo, Bryan Cranston as Walter White and Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, joined to promote the PopCorners snack brand. You better believe they're bringing the realness with an authentic storyline that'll make you feel like you're back in the show! That one was my personal favorite.
  • Will Ferrell announced a new partnership between the automaker General Motors and the streaming service Netflix in a 60-second ad during the game. What I loved about this was that they took moments of pop culture from various films and dropped their lines of EVs in various scenes that were reshot. Really well done.

You can see more celebrities in these spots:

  • Melissa McCarthy takes over as the spokesperson for the travel site, succeeding Idris Elba. She uses her comedic talent to promote the brand through songs.
  • Waiting on hold for customer service can be a tedious experience, often taking hours instead of minutes. Miles and Keleigh Teller turn the wait into a fun moment by cracking open a Bud Light and dancing awkwardly to the hold music beat. This moment will resonate with you - and if you are like me, you might feel like you've been wasting valuable time on hold.
  • As Adam Driver discovers Squarespace, a platform for creating websites, he is drawn into a rabbit hole. He ponders, "It could make itself," with an attitude reminiscent of Jeff Spicoli but a more put-together and less stoned appearance.
  • Danny McBride, an actor, comedian, and writer, is so impressed with the scent of Downy laundry products that he declares he will change his name to "Downy."
  • Steve Martin gave acting lessons in Pepsi Zero's spot.
  • Kevin Bacon provided the voiceover for the Budweiser ad. 
  • FanDuel's first-ever Super Bowl ad for the company featured four-time Super Bowl Champion Rob Gronkowski attempting to kick a field goal during a live commercial that consumers could bet on. That is engaging entertainment!
  • A Pringles ad showed Meghan Trainor getting her hand stuck in the can. And how she got it out... while Doritos featured Jack Harlow.
  • Heineken brought viewers the game's first-ever non-alcoholic beer ad featuring actor Paul Rudd tied to the Marvel release of Ant-Man.

And well... more! Whom did I miss in my round-up? Send me a note and I'll update the master blog this will become... 

Varsity Blues: Football Is a Way of Life

MoxIn America, we have laws. Laws against killing, laws against stealing. And it is just accepted that as a member of American society, you will live by these laws. In West Canaan, Texas, there is another society which has its own laws. Football is a way of life.
- Mox (played by James Van Der Beek)
For one day a year, the entire country rallies behind The Big Game to cheer on their favored team, or one just borrowed for the night. For most, it's an opportunity to be social, to see friends, or to flirt and meet new potential relationships. In some parts, football is ever-present and a backbone to society. Like in Texas, where I was born and raised, growing up with Friday night lights, stories of hometown football heroes, and the knowledge that football was more than just a game. 
Super Bowl 2023—tracking commercials and other brand plans | Ad Age

Rihanna Didn't Make One Single Penny From Her Performance

The Super Bowl Halftime Show is one of the year's most highly-anticipated events and has become a showcase for some of the biggest names in entertainment. From pop stars to rock legends to hip-hop legends, what is surprising to many is the fact that the artists who perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show do not receive any direct payment from the NFL. However, the NFL covers the artists' production costs and travel expenses.

Indeed, the Super Bowl Halftime Show is considered a significant promotional opportunity and can result in increased sales of singles, albums, and concert tickets for the artists. Check out Spotify this week - Rihanna will be trending.

No artists, whether they perform pre-kickoff songs like the National Anthem or the Halftime Show, receive payment for their performances at the Super Bowl. There is a point of pride in being asked that indeed does mean something.  

9 Of The Top Artists Who Have Not Been Paid To Perform

My alma mater, the University of Arizona, was one of the two featured marching bands who performed at the first ever Super Bowl Halftime Show way back when in 1967. 

The Super Bowl Halftime Show has been a platform for many talented musicians over-the-years. From Up with People in Super Bowl VI in 1972 to Beyoncé and Destiny's Child in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, the halftime show has featured a wide range of musical styles and artists. The halftime show has also featured popular bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as collaborations between multiple artists like Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, and Smokey Robinson. With its history of showcasing talented musicians, the Super Bowl Halftime Show continues to be one of the most-watched events in music and entertainment. From Michael Jackson to Madonna to Prince, the Super Bowl Halftime Show has been a platform for some of the most excellent musicians of all time.  

It wasn't until the 1980s and 1990s that the halftime show began to evolve into a major entertainment event, with big-name musicians and performers taking the stage to entertain the millions of viewers tuning in to the game. Some of the most remembered artists who performed half-time shows include:

  1. Michael Jackson (1993) - Michael Jackson is considered one of the most influential entertainers of all time, and his performance at Super Bowl XXVII is one of the most iconic Halftime Shows in history. Jackson's electrifying performance included hits such as "Jam" and "Billie Jean" and showcased his incredible dance moves, which captivated audiences worldwide.

  2. Madonna (2012) - Madonna is one of the most successful female artists of all time, and her Super Bowl Halftime Show performance in 2012 was a highlight of the event. Madonna's performance included her hit songs "Like a Virgin" and "Vogue" and celebrated her music and career.

  3. Prince (2007) - Prince is widely regarded as one of the most excellent musicians of all time, and his Super Bowl Halftime Show performance in 2007 was one of the most memorable in the event's history. Prince's performance was a medley of his biggest hits, including "Purple Rain" and "Baby I'm a Star," and was a testament to his musical genius.

  4. Bruce Springsteen (2009) - Bruce Springsteen is one of the most legendary musicians of all time, and his Super Bowl Halftime Show performance in 2009 was a testament to his enduring popularity. Springsteen's performance included hits such as "Born to Run" and "Dancing in the Dark" and celebrated his music and career.

  5. Lady Gaga (2017) - Lady Gaga is one of her generation's most talented and versatile musicians, and her Super Bowl Halftime Show performance in 2017 was a highlight of the event. Gaga's performance included her hit songs "Bad Romance" and "Poker Face" and was a testament to her musical prowess.

  6. Janet Jackson (2004) - Janet Jackson's performance at Super Bowl XXXVIII is remembered for the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" that took place during her duet with Justin Timberlake. Despite the controversy, Jackson's performance was widely praised for her energetic dance routines and powerful vocals.

  7. U2 (2002) - U2's Super Bowl Halftime Show performance in 2002 was a moving tribute to the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The band performed their hit song "Where the Streets Have No Name" against a backdrop of the names of the victims of the attacks, creating a powerful and emotional moment for millions of viewers.

  8. Katy Perry (2015) - Katy Perry's Super Bowl Halftime Show performance in 2015 was a colorful and energetic spectacle that showcased her signature style. Perry's performance included hits such as "Roar" and "Firework" and featured elaborate costumes, special effects, and a memorable appearance by Missy Elliott.

  9. Coldplay (2016) - Coldplay's Super Bowl Halftime Show performance in 2016 was a colorful and upbeat affair that showcased the band's musical talents. Coldplay's performance included hits such as "Viva La Vida" and "Paradise" and featured a guest appearance by Beyoncé.

So Why Do Brands Spend The Money On Super Bowl Ads

This monstrous sporting event is the ultimate playground for brands, attracting millions of viewers from around the world. But with commercials costing over 6 million, is it worth the investment?

It's no Hail Mary wishful hope. No, brands see massive benefits from these super-sized ads that make them grab their helmets and run for the end zone!

  • Massive Reach: The Super Bowl is watched by over 100 millions of people, making it the biggest TV event of the year in the US. This means your brand has a chance to reach a massive audience, giving it the perfect platform to build its brand and promote new products.

  • Highly Engaging: People tend to be highly engaged during the Super Bowl, meaning commercials are more likely to be remembered and have a lasting impact. Plus, advertisers tend to run the ads at a fast frequency to burn through the media buy requirements by the network, to gain higher frequency and recall.  

  • Top-Quality Ads: The Super Bowl is known for high-quality advertising, meaning your brand has the chance to produce commercials that are creative, engaging, and memorable. Not any ad cuts it. The NFL has high standards, as does the network - and they both get to vette anything going on air.  

  • Unique and Memorable: Super Bowl commercials are often creative and entertaining, allowing brands to create unique and memorable experiences for their audiences. This helps establish a brand's image and fosters positive associations in the minds of consumers. The win? Becoming what the office Monday water-cooler conversation is all about. You know, for the 4 out of 5 people who managed to drag themselves out of bed and into work despite their hideous hangovers. Water is an essential part of everyone's day... 

  • Increased Awareness: By advertising during the Super Bowl, your brand can reach a massive audience and raise brand awareness. This builds brand recognition and establishes your brand's reputation, making it easier for consumers to identify and remember your brand in the future.

  • Sales Boost: The increased brand awareness and positive associations from advertising during the Super Bowl can lead to increased sales. This is especially true for brands launching new products or promoting special offers. The brands that included a Snapchat or QR code in their TV ad experienced engagement nirvana - it's still novel enough that people like to see what will unfold. This is why Augmented Reality has such a future likelihood of crossing over into the ad world to become part of what we expect to experience. We like interacting and having an experience...

Advertising during the Super Bowl can be a valuable investment for a brand - if you have the millions needed to make a cool ad. While the cost is sky-high, the benefits of reaching a massive audience, increasing brand awareness, and creating memorable experiences can make it a worthwhile investment.

So, if your brand wants to make a significant impact, consider advertising during the next Super Bowl! You have just under a year to get it all dialed in. I'm always happy to have your team join us in brainstorming ideas for celebrity names with your team...

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The Ad Cost That Never Stops Rising

Super Bowl LVI once again proved to be a monumental event, drawing in millions of viewers across the United States. There was something for everyone from the intense game to the famous halftime show and the memorable commercials. While the cost of advertising during the Super Bowl continues to soar, it remains one of the most effective ways for brands to reach a wide audience in a short amount of time. And, while the FIFA World Cup may have a larger global audience, the Super Bowl has a broader reach in the US. Super Bowl LVI was a great success, and we can't wait to see what next year's event will bring. So how much will ads go for next year?  With the fact that the viewership grew between 2022 and 2023... you can make one solid bet. They will be ever more expensive next year.

ReadyTo Learn More?

The biggest advertising day of the year might have passed, but that doesn't mean that you can't plan ahead! As more and more brands get involved in the most expensive TV ad-buy, it can be difficult to stand out. Make sure to stay ahead of the game by reading what other brands have done for Super Bowl ads in the past!   

Want to stay in the know with all things pop culture? Look no further than our Hot in Hollywood newsletter! Each week, we compile a list of the most talked-about moments in the entertainment industry, all for you to enjoy!

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