Despite an ongoing pandemic, the 2020 NFL season is upon us, albeit with some big changes for the sake of safety. As the players step onto the gridiron, big brands are once again contemplating how to leverage the NFL’s audience, especially during the Super Bowl, which has become famous for its annual debut of unique advertising creative. Ad buyers are already planning their commitments for the big game, but they’re also seeking reassurance should the NFL be forced to cancel due to COVID-19 concerns.
The good news for marketers is that the price of a 30-second commercial is not going to increase compared to those that aired during the 2020 Super Bowl. ViacomCBS is reportedly asking for $5.5 million per spot, which is on par with the $5.6 million that Fox requested for the 2020 game. Ad prices at the Super Bowl have historically increased each year, but these are uncertain times; moreover, Fox Business has reported that most ad buyers have been given verbal promises that they will be refunded in the event that the Super Bowl can’t be played.
There’s a good reason that TV networks with rights to the Super Bowl can charge a pretty penny for commercial airtime. The 2020 Super Bowl drew well over 100 million viewers and more than half a billion dollars in ad revenue, according to ad firm Kantar. And considering that major sports are all operating without fans in the stands, the average viewer is likely even more hungry for sports on television.
With the right marketing creative, brands can expect to reach a passionate audience that’s more receptive to advertising than during other broadcasts. Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows that nearly a quarter (22%) of Super Bowl viewers don’t mind watching longer ads if they are relevant, humorous, or entertaining in general. Shorter (and cheaper) 15-second spots can be effective as well, since over 40% of Super Bowl viewers indicate that they are okay with brief commercials.