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Advertising Hail Mary: The Biggest Super Bowl Spenders
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Advertising Hail Mary: The Biggest Super Bowl Spenders

As the debate rages on about the high cost of advertising during the Super Bowl, one thing is certain: big bucks are being spent in attempt to reach the growing audiences and big spenders tuning in on game day, according to Nielsen. With advertisers spending nearly $4 million on a 30-second spot last year (nearly 50 times more than the average primetime spot!)—a figure that will likely rise for Super Bowl XLVIII—Nielsen reveals the companies and categories that have made the most sizeable investment on ads that aired during the past five Super Bowls.

TOP 10 U.S. ADVERTISERS OF THE PAST FIVE SUPER BOWLS

Brand Dollars Spent 2009-2013
ANHEUSER-BUSCH $149 M
PEPSICO INC. $97 M
COCA-COLA CO. $62 M
VOLKSWAGEN $57 M
FIAT SPA. $55 M
GENERAL MOTORS CO. $43 M
WALT DISNEY CO. $40 M
HYUNDAI MOTOR CO. $39 M
COMCAST CORP. $37 M
NATL AMUSEMENTS INC. $35 M

Read as: Anheuser-Busch was the top parent company based on ad spend during the past five Super Bowls with $149 million advertising dollars spent.
Source: Nielsen

There’s something to be said about these top spenders and their ad performance. Ads from Pepsi, Coca Cola, Volkswagen and GM have all earned top spots based on likeability, memorability, or both, of past Super Bowls, and Anheuser Busch was among the top ranked for several years. Despite some naysayers, if the execution and creative is strong, the payoff can be tremendous.

TOP FIVE PRODUCT CATEGORIES OF THE PAST FIVE SUPER BOWLS

Category Dollars Spent 2009-2013
AUTO $298 M
BEER $149 M
MOTION PICTURE $130 M
REG SOFT DRINK $89 M
TORTILLA CHIPS $42 M

Read as: Automotive was the top product category based on ad spend during the past five Super Bowls with $298 million advertising dollars spent.
Source: Nielsen