Are 30 Seconds Worth $4M?

Advertising during the Super Bowl is no small expense: $4 million for 30 seconds of air time, to be exact. That doesn’t even account for the cost associated with creating the advertisement. $4 million just to get on the air. So, after seeing the commercials on Sunday, was it money well spent, or would the brands have been better off spending their cash elsewhere? Read below for my analysis of who came out ahead.

Honorable Mentions

  • E-Trade: The strangely-never-aging E-Trade baby will always get an honorable mention in my book. But I especially loved seeing our beloved baby marooned on an island, soaring through outer space and taking a hot tub break with a panda (?). Boom, E-Trade.
  • Kia: Babylandia? Yes please. I loved this commercial for its whimsical take on parenthood. I’m sure all parents dread this question and Kia lets you know that even if your elaborate, imaginative explanation fails, there’s still “Wheels on the Bus” to get you through.
  • Doritos: On principle, I love Doritos’ Crash the Superbowl campaign. They had a few commercials play during the game this year, but I loved the princess ad most. However, it will be interesting to see where they go with these commercials, because, as a friend pointed out, they all seem to play on the same theme of “you’ll do anything for Doritos.”

Bronze Medal

  • Budweiser: Budweiser delivers, year after year, on great commercials. They know what works for their audience, and they stick to it. For most beer brands, the commercials rely on fantasy: if you drink this beer you’ll have this amazing experience with this beautiful woman at this insane party. For Budweiser, and specifically for Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercials, it’s about something much more genuine: tradition. And a baby Clydesdale never hurts, either.

Silver Medal

  • Jeep: This advertisement ran for two entire minutes, which in advertising is basically a lifetime. But, it was undoubtedly one of my favorite ads of the night. Something very interesting was that, until the very end, it was almost completely void of branding. It’s very, very easy to get a laugh from the audience during the Super Bowl; it’s much more difficult to get a tear. I have a feeling there weren’t many dry eyes left after this commercial.

Gold Medal:

  • Audi: This was one of the first commercials of the Super Bowl and it stuck with me throughout the entire game. This tugged on a memory everyone has: prom. Probably one of the most awkward and uncomfortable times in most people’s lives. Here we have a kid, going to prom alone and his dad, in an effort to up his confidence, gives him his car to drive for the night: an Audi. How does it end? Our main character kills it. He struts in to prom, makes a move on the Prom Queen and completely woos her. Before we get too carried away, he does leave with a killer black eye (courtesy of the Prom King), adding a very realistic quality to the commercial.

And the complete misses? Go Daddy and Calvin Klein.

Does my analysis match up with your own? Leave us a comment to let us know what your favorite ad from the Super Bowl was!

One thought on “Are 30 Seconds Worth $4M?

  1. Nancy Musson

    Taco Bell’s commercial featuring senior citizens living la vida young to the Spanish version of “We are Young” was my favorite. Who can resist octagenarians plus rocking out and partaking in everything they always admonished us about? Also gives us the peace of mind that age is just a number. Yo quiero Taco Bell por la vida loca!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *