Super Bowl transforms the marketing landscape every year

February 06, 2024

Professor and Chair of Marketing, Charles Brooks

The Super Bowl is an iconic American institution, surrounded by anticipation and excitement which is why so many people look forward to the unique ads curated by reputable and well-known brands, said Chairperson of Marketing and Professor Charles Brooks.

In 1967 when the Super Bowl began, an ad cost only $37K whereas in 2024, a 30-second spot costs between $6.5 million and $7 million, according to USA Today.

A traditional ad is based on repetition and the content of information about the brand and product whereas a Super Bowl spot focuses primarily on high entertainment value and creativity, Brooks said.

“Super Bowl ads are not designed to educate; they are designed to entertain,” said Brooks. “Advertisers want Super Bowl ads to stand out and be memorable. Ideally, an ad will create buzz about a brand and will capture consumers’ attention on social media, increasing the life and the impact of the ad.”

As the world has adapted and navigated through a vast digital realm, a lot of marketers have debated if the Super Bowl ads are even worth the cost as compared to posting content on social media.

Brooks explained why the high cost of running an ad during the Super Bowl makes sense for some brands.

“By advertising during the Super Bowl, a company can transfer those perceptions to its brand. For a brand like Pepsi, this can enhance its brand image. Running an ad during the Super Bowl is very expensive. For a company like State Farm Insurance, it can signal financial strength and stability,” he said.

Brooks said the most memorable Super Bowl commercial he has witnessed is Apple’s 1984 Macintosh computer spot.

“Visually, the ad was distinctive. Macintosh computers were new to the market, and Apple was an underdog in the technology market,” he said. “The commercial portrayed Apple as a revolutionary brand. Apple had another Super Bowl ad in the late 1980s that portrayed PC users as lemmings following one another over a cliff. I still remember it as well.”

Stay in the Loop

Sign Up Now