While Super Bowl ads require a substantial investment, they tend to get a measurable marketing bump from their prominent placement. According to Nielsen, ads that aired during 2011's Super Bowl XLV were, on average, 58 percent more memorable than commercials airing during regular programming in the first quarter of 2011. In addition, brand awareness for commercials airing during the Super Bowl was up to 275 percent higher than awareness for the same creative during regular programming.
The Super Bowl investment is economically resilient, remaining relatively stable despite fluctuations in the primetime average—and rising consistently over the past five years despite a rocky economy.
2011 was the year of the auto comeback. Spending on automotive ads far surpassed other categories and more than doubled versus previous years. Nine different auto brands took center field in the commercial breaks, versus an average of two to four brands in years prior. Creative quality also improved in 2011, with an unprecedented four auto spots making Nielsen’s annual Most-Liked list. Chevrolet’s “Wild Ride” garnered the distinction of being the most watched ad of all time, with an estimated 119,628,000 viewers watching its Super Bowl airing. This year, Chevy is breaking ground again with the Game Time app, which will leverage consumers' simultaneous cross-screen behavior and reinforce branding from traditional TV advertisements.
Year Over Year Spend Breakdown (in millions)