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Top 5

#1 Jeep : “Groundhog Day”

#2 Hyundai : “Smaht Pahk”

#3 WeatherTech : “Lucky Dog”

#4 New York Life : “Love Takes Action”

#5 Google : “Loretta”

Bottom 5

#5 Michael Bloomberg : “Mike Bloomberg for President”

#4 Sabra : “How I Mus”

#3 Pop-Tarts : “Pop-Tarts Fixed That”

#2 Quibi : “Bank Heist”

#1 Turkish Airlines : “Step on Earth”

SpotBowl Blog

The SpotBowl team at Pavone works overtime to gather breaking Big Game ad news so you don't have to. On the SpotBlog, you'll get the scoop on every brand, every celebrity cameo and every pre-game release leading up to the showdown on February 2.

At $5.6 million, is a Big Game ad really worth it?

Are Big Game ads really worth the big dollars advertisers spend for them? Pavone Marketing Group Chief Creative Officer Ronaldo Jardim answers that important question. 

A commercial in the first Big Game in 1967 cost $37,000, or about $300,000 today. Fifty-three years later, the price tag for a 30-second ad is $5.6 million. That’s a record, but it begs the question: Is it worth it? 

On the surface, it seems like a good investment. The Big Game is the most-watched television event of the year, with upwards of 100 million viewers, and those viewers aren’t just watching the game — they’re watching the ads. They plan bathroom breaks around the ads, quiet the room for the ads, talk about the ads before and after the game, go online to watch the ads again and then share the ads on social media. 

Try to find another television event with that much love for advertising. You can’t. 

But that attention alone still doesn’t guarantee that a Big Game ad is a good investment. Yes, it can be money well spent, but only if you follow two critically important rules: 


This seems obvious, but not everyone follows this advice. Your ad has to entertain. It has to make people laugh, make people cry or give people goose bumps. It has to be memorable. It has to be something people want to talk about around the watercooler or on social media. 

More importantly, your brand has to be an unforgettable part of the story you’re telling. If you make people laugh (or cry), and you make them retell that story with friends the next day, but they can’t remember the company that made the epic ad, you definitely just wasted $5.6 million.   


Even if you knock requirement #1 out of the park, you still have one tough task ahead of you: You need a strategy. You have to treat the ad like an event. It has to be part of a larger 360-degree campaign that’s launched during the Big Game but lives on long after it. 

Speaking of strategy, did you surround your $5.6 million investment with an airtight digital plan? Because the Big Game isn’t just an ad game played on TV (the best advertisers realize that); it’s increasingly becoming a game where the higher stakes are online. With that digital stage in mind, you have to create a plan to build online buzz around your ad and make it part of that never-ending conversation. 

So, is a Big Game ad worth the $5.6 million? Yes, but you’d better be prepared to put in a lot of hard work to make that investment pay off.