The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) in America. It is always held on a Sunday that is then called “Super Bowl Sunday”. It is such a big deal that it is considered a National Holiday and is celebrated by millions.
After Thanksgiving it is the second highest day of food consumption in America, and is also the most-watched program on American television.
It started in 1967 and though it’s a football final (this year, the Philadelphia Eagles won for the first time, beating the New England Patriots!) there are two other factors as to why millions tune in to watch — the Super Bowl half-time show, and the advertisements.
What is the Super Bowl half-time show? After the first half of the game comes to a close there is a 15 minute break for a live performance by a super pop star. People tune in to watch this power packed performance.
Fun Fact: Justin Timberlake performed for the third time at the 2018 Super Bowl and 103.4 million people tuned in. Though that’s a lot of people it was the lowest rating in nine years! The highest was when Katy Perry performed in 2015, there were 120.3 million viewers.
OK, but did you say people tune in for the advertisements? That doesn’t make sense! Don’t we usually fast forward through those?
Let’s talk about why viewership matters: Have you ever wondered why there are advertisements when you watch your favourite TV show or sports programs like the IPL? It’s because advertisement revenues fund television networks.
This means that companies pay TV channels to air or show advertisements to their audiences. That is how the television channel pays its employees, makes shows, or rents shows to air.
At it’s peak one of the most highly viewed shows in the world, Game of Thrones (its a grown up show), had 16 million people watching it. So, with over a 100 million viewers for the Super Bowl the channel can charge a lot of money to companies to show their ads.
How much does an ad at the Super Bowl cost? A 30-second ad at the Super Bowl costs $5 million! That comes to $170,000 a second! Or about 1,60,55,325 Kit Kats.
For the 2018 Super Bowl, advertisers spent over half a billion dollars over the course of the four hour duration of the game. That is the average earnings of what the five major American television networks make in a week.
OK – but just because there are ads doesn’t mean we have to watch them. That’s true. But companies make ads specially for the Super Bowl. These are funny, smart, memorable ads, that have characters, actors, and tell stories that people really want to watch! Advertising is very powerful – memorable ads sometimes make people think of buying those products. Check this one out – PepsiCo, the company that has the chips brand Doritos, and the soft drink brand Mountain Dew, put this ad up. It has famous TV actors lip syncing to music from superstars Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes.
Do you like ads? What’s your favourite one? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.
Written by: Tanika Thacker. Tanika is a writer by day and a foodie by night. She lives in San Francisco and nothing makes her happier than ice-cream on a cold, rainy afternoon. You can follow her meanderings on @tanikathacker and @boozefoodlatitude