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Family - A Seattle Advertising Agency

This is What You Need to Know About the Super Bowl of Advertising

Funniest Commercials

Why Comedy Is the Most Effective Way to Advertise


Super Bowl LI: 51

Teams: New England v. Atlanta

Date: February 5, 2017

Kickoff: 3:30 PST

Location: NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas

Television Network: Fox

Streaming: Fox Sports Go

Mobile: Verizon Wireless/NFL Mobile App

Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews

Halftime: Lady Gaga


In the last several years, pre- and post-game Super Bowl buzz were almost as important as the broadcast itself. Rather than unveiling spots during the Super Bowl, brands typically released teasers or posted their commercials online ahead of time. PR and digital campaigns drove eyeballs to the spots, both before and after the game. Online engagement dipped 17 percent last year, which might explain why in 2017, so few commercials were released until about a week before the big game.

Click to see all Super Bowl 51 commercials as they're made public.

Overall, the most watched commercial from Super Bowl 50 was Mobile Strike’s “Arnold’s Fight” with over 102 million views on YouTube.


In 2016, the total audience for Super Bowl 50 was the third-largest in television history, with an estimated 112 million viewers. Nielsen Social reported 3.8 million people sent 16.9 million tweets about the game, and 1.4 million people sent 4.6 million tweets about the commercials.


This will be the first time an NFL franchise appears for the ninth time in a Super Bowl -- The New England Patriots. For the first time, Canadians will see the same commercials as Americans. Snickers will be the first to air a live commercial since Schlitz did it in 1981. Close, but not an actual first.


Brands that have already announced they’ll be appearing during the Super Bowl include the following: American Petroleum Institute,, Michelin, Michelin, National Geographic, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Netflix, NFL, Hulu,Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures,Coca-Cola, Sprite, H&R Block, Machine Zone, Nintendo, Google Home, Tiffany & Co., KFC, King's Hawaiian, Wendy's, Ford, Paramount Pictures, Wonderful Pistachios, Fiji Water, Sprint, T-Mobile, Tide, It's a 10 Haircare, Top Games USA, Squarespace, Persil Proclean, Bai, Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Michelob, Hyundai, Pepsi, Lifewtr, 84 Lumber, Buick, Intel, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Mr. Clean, Febreze, Audi, Honda, Turbo Tax, GoDaddy, GNC, Wix, Skittles, Snickers, Busch Beer, Avocados from Mexico, WeatherTech and Kia.


Notable brands that have announced they aren’t appearing during this year’s game include Doritos, Heinz, Mini USA, Sun Trust, Toyota, Visa, Taco Bell and Butterfinger.


There are unconfirmed reports that the last two spots were sold two days before the big game. FOX declined to comment prior to the game. Typically, there are around 70 commercial slots available for the Super Bowl.

The first Super Bowl in 1967 cost a mere $43,000 for 30 seconds of airtime and has become more expensive every year since. It's reported that the average 30-second slot this year sold for between $5 and $5.5 million, digital 30-second slots for $700,000.


Variety estimates production costs as high as $10 million. MoneyNation estimated production costs for a few of the commercials that appeared in last year’s Super Bowl. They are some pretty round numbers, but they’re a good place to start the conversation. Here are their estimates.

Wix, Panda (30 sec) $2,000,000

LG, Man from the Future (60 sec) $500,000

Pokémon, Pokémon20 (60 sec) $500,000

Marmot, Meet the Marmot (60 sec) $750,000

Amazon Echo, Baldwin (2 x 30 sec) $2,000,000

AXE, Find Your Magic (60 sec) $500,000

T Mobile, Drake (30 sec) $2,500,000

Budweiser (2 x 60 sec) $3,000,000

The most expensive Super Bowl television commercial ever produced is Chrysler’s, “Imported from Detroit” (2011). The two-minute epic reportedly cost $12.4 million.


There are no public figures associated with the money brands pay to promote their Super Bowl commercials. However, Mary Scott from UEG hints at the number. Let's just assume they are significant.

Monday morning after the Super Bowl read our post, "The Funniest Commercials of Super Bowl LI."

Mike Johnston is a production executive and advertising creative in Seattle. He is available for freelance consulting, writing and directing. Contact Mike.

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