Advertisers are spending more money on Super Bowl commercials and reaching fewer people


Advertisers who invest in ad spots during the Super Bowl are paying dramatically higher costs year over year, while the number of people they reach by the dollar is steadily decreasing.

Over the past decade, the cost of a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl has doubled. In 2008, advertisers paid $2.7 million per ad, and in 2018 they paid $5.2 million for the same length ad, according to Kantar Media. That price held steady in 2019, according to CNBC.

While Super Bowl viewership has risen since 2018, it has not been a steady rise, and some years have even seen a year-over-year decline. Viewership certainly hasn’t risen at a rate comparable to ad cost. In 2008, 97.4 million people watched the big game, but by 2018 that number had only risen 6 percent, to 103.4 million, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The bottom line for advertisers is that the reach of their ads on Super Bowl Sunday has dropped significantly. Ten years ago, for every dollar spent, an advertiser could count on reaching about 36 television viewers. In 2019, that number has fallen to only 20 television viewers reached.