Super Bowl

Super Bowl, Supersized: $4.9 Billion in Ad Spending Over 51 Years

Stats on Advertising in the Big Game From 1967 Through 2017

By Published on .

How much money has been spent on advertising in the first 51 years of the Super Bowl? A total of $4.9 billion, according to Ad Age's analysis.

Advertising's biggest game gets more supersized every year.

Ad spending for commercials during the game on Feb. 5's Super Bowl LI broadcast on Fox will total a record $385 million, according to Ad Age Datacenter's estimate. That's more than advertisers spent on the Super Bowl in the 1960s, '70s and '80s combined ($299 million).

Super Bowl ad spending, 1967-2017: $4.9 billion
Average cost for 30-second commercial and estimated total in-game TV ad spending since first Super Bowl in 1967. Total advertising spending over 51 years: $4.9 billion ($6.3 billion, adjusted for inflation).
Average cost for 30-second spot
Total ad spending
See the full table
In-game ad spending:
Average cost for 30-second spot
In-game ad spending:
Total ad spending ($ million)
Super Bowl No. Year Adjusted for
inflation
Adjusted for
inflation
1 1967 $40,000 $294,000 $2 $13
2 1968 54,000 383,000 2 16
3 1969 67,500 458,000 3 20
4 1970 78,200 500,000 3 22
5 1971 72,000 437,000 3 19
6 1972 86,000 506,000 4 22
7 1973 103,500 587,000 4 25
8 1974 107,000 555,000 5 24
9 1975 110,000 510,000 5 22
10 1976 125,000 543,000 5 23
11 1977 162,000 669,000 7 29
12 1978 185,000 716,000 8 31
13 1979 222,000 786,000 10 34
14 1980 275,000 854,000 12 37
15 1981 324,300 901,000 14 39
16 1982 345,000 884,000 15 38
17 1983 400,000 989,000 20 49
18 1984 450,000 1,067,000 21 51
19 1985 500,000 1,146,000 26 60
20 1986 550,000 1,213,000 28 62
21 1987 575,000 1,250,000 31 68
22 1988 600,000 1,254,000 35 73
23 1989 675,000 1,347,000 35 71
24 1990 700,000 1,328,000 39 74
25 1991 800,000 1,437,000 46 82
26 1992 800,000 1,400,000 48 84
27 1993 850,000 1,441,000 49 84
28 1994 900,000 1,488,000 52 86
29 1995 1,150,000 1,850,000 70 112
30 1996 1,085,000 1,699,000 65 102
31 1997 1,200,000 1,823,000 72 109
32 1998 1,292,000 1,933,000 80 120
33 1999 1,600,000 2,354,000 103 152
34 2000 2,100,000 3,007,000 132 189
35 2001 2,200,000 3,037,000 136 188
36 2002 2,200,000 3,003,000 134 183
37 2003 2,150,000 2,860,000 130 173
38 2004 2,302,000 3,005,000 150 195
39 2005 2,400,000 3,042,000 158 201
40 2006 2,500,000 3,048,000 163 198
41 2007 2,385,000 2,848,000 151 181
42 2008 2,700,000 3,092,000 186 213
43 2009 3,000,000 3,435,000 213 244
44 2010 2,974,000 3,318,000 205 229
45 2011 3,100,000 3,403,000 228 250
46 2012 3,500,000 3,733,000 263 280
47 2013 4,000,000 4,199,000 292 307
48 2014 4,200,000 4,340,000 332 343
49 2015 4,400,000 4,551,000 345 357
50 2016 4,800,000 4,898,000 370 377
51 2017 5,000,000 5,000,000 385 385
Total $4,897 $6,345
Source: Estimated average unit cost for 30-second in-game commercial from Kantar Media, Nielsen and Ad Age Datacenter. Estimated total in-game ad spending from Ad Age Datacenter (1967-1981, 2017) and Kantar Media (1982-2016). Inflation adjustments, from Ad Age, translate previous years' ad costs and spending into estimated current (2017) dollars. Numbers rounded. More info: kantarmedia.com; nielsen.com.

More big-game stats:

  • Total ad spending on commercials in the Super Bowl from 1967 through 2017, adjusted for inflation: $6.3 billion.
  • Super Bowl LI's estimated share of 2017 U.S. broadcast network TV ad spending: Record 2.3%, nearly double the level in 2010 (1.2%), four times the level in 1995 (0.6%) and six times the level in 1990 (0.4%).
  • Average cost for a 30-second commercial in Super Bowl LI: $5.0 million.
  • Average cost of 30 seconds in Super Bowl I: $40,000 ($294,000, adjusted for inflation).
  • Price per second for a 2017 commercial: $166,667. That's 125 times the cost for a second on Super Bowl I ($1,333).
  • Amount spent per viewer in 2016 on in-game advertising, based on estimated total ad spending divided by Nielsen's average number of viewers: $3.30, a record high.
  • Number of years that Super Bowl commercial prices fell: five (1971, 1996, 2003, 2007, 2010).
  • Biggest percent increases in price of a commercial: 1968 (35%), the second year of the Super Bowl; 2000 (31%), when Pets.com and 16 other internet upstarts shoveled cash from venture capital and stock offerings into the game amid the dot-com bubble.
Cost for one second of Super Bowl advertising
1967 $1,333
1977 $5,400
1987 $19,167
1997 $40,000
2007 $79,500
2017 $166,667
Source: Ad Age Datacenter analysis. See source line in main accompanying graphic.

Milestones in price of a 30-second Super Bowl commercial:

  • 1973: topped $100,000.
  • 1985: reached $500,000.
  • 1995: topped $1 million.
  • 2000: topped $2 million.
  • 2009: reached $3 million.
  • 2013: reached $4 million.
  • 2017: reached $5 million.
Super Bowl ad spending by decade
Ad spending in Super Bowl LI (Feb. 5, 2017; estimated $385 million) will exceed ad spending on the big game in the 1960s, '70s and '80s ($299 million). Total over 51 years: $4.9 billion.
Source: Ad Age Datacenter analysis. Numbers rounded. See source line in main accompanying graphic.
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