Super Bowl commercials going for £1.4m for 30-second slot

The American football Super Bowl is almost as eagerly awaited by US television viewers for the commercials shown during the breaks as it is for the action on the pitch.

Well, all right, that might be an exaggeration, given the sport's fanatic following. But the annual tradition of advertisers debuting glitzy new commercials during the game has turned Super Bowl into the most lucrative night of the year for its broadcaster, which this year is Rupert Murdoch's Fox channel.

Despite a looming consumer downturn, 2008 is proving no exception.

Already the ad industry is abuzz with rumours about who will be debuting new commercials and who will have the ads most talked about around the water coolers the next morning. Most important of all for Fox, Super Bowl XLII on 3 February has defied predictions to set a new record for the price advertisers are willing to pay for a 30-second slot.

This year, with just one of the 63 slots left to fill, that average price is estimated at $2.7m (£1.4m), up from $2.6m last time round. Analysts say the price has been pushed inexorably higher because of changing viewing habits that mean the Super Bowl is one of the few remaining times when an otherwise increasingly-fragmented TV audience comes together to watch a single programme. More than 93 million people watched last year's broadcast on CBS, the second largest audience in the event's history.

This year, the slots are even more desirable because the Hollywood writers' strike has decimated the rest of the TV schedules.

Ever since Apple launched its Macintosh computer with a pastiche of George Orwell's 1984 during the Super Bowl, ad agencies have vied to outdo each other with impressive ads, either lavishing money on high production values or a celebrity endorsement, or simply going for a belly laugh.

Car companies are again among those bidding highest for slots, with General Motors and Toyota having signed up to debut commercials. Coca-Cola and arch-rival Pepsi will face off in the battle to impress viewers. And movie studios are planning early trailers for films they hope will become this year's summer blockbusters.

And then there are more mundane products that need a mass marketing push. Proctor & Gamble has reportedly paid among the highest bids for a slot to big up its Tide To Go instant stain remover. "The Super Bowl is the one time you watch a show and don't want to miss the commercial breaks," Suzanne Watson, Tide's North American brand manager told The New York Times. "With Tide to Go right there, you don't have to get up to clean your shirt or pants."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible