According to the Wall Street Journal, the price of a Super Bowl commercial was five times more expensive in 2019 than it was in 1995. Today, for one company or brand to score a Super Bowl ad, they must pay upward of $5 million.
The three brands that typically own the most ad space during the Super Bowl are Anheuser-Busch InBev, Pepsico and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which means that these three brands are also contributing the most money toward the ads.
While the cost for a singular ad may seem excessive, it does make sense. The Super Bowl has one of the largest audiences in all of television, scoring an average of 100 million viewers yearly.
In the past, Super Bowl commercials have been known to be humorous in nature, but over the past few years, Americans have thought these ads to be less funny.
However, this issue may be less about Americans losing their sense of humor and more about the way ads are facilitated.
Today, people expect the Super Bowl Commercials to be funny, causing audiences to watch the ads with a more critical eye as if expecting these ads to be funny has caused people to have too high of an expectation.
But a critical eye may not be the only reason Super Bowl ads are not as dependable for a doubled-over laugh.
Brands may be trying to target a younger demographic. The millennial generation cares about the humor that a commercial can bring, but they also are the largest demographic that cares to learn about corporate social responsibility. In other words, are these well-known brands willing to spend money on socially inspiring and politically correct content?
While we agree that brands may be paying a price for the lack of humorous and memorable content, they may be gaining loyalty among a generation that values the environment and social responsibility in a company.
On this big stage, it will be interesting to see if companies continue to feature ads that are humorous or if they continue to set precedents by attempting to talk about things that could make a difference to millions of people.