Pulse Price Report: Super Bowl Ads

Last weekend more than 100 million people crowded around the television to watch commercials while a football game interrupted every once in a while. The cost for a super bowl ad was $5 million for 30 seconds and while the usual suspects made an appearance, such as Budweiser and Doritos, some lower profile companies also ponied up for their face on television’s most expensive evening.

But is it worth it to the business? The short answer: it depends.

Let’s not forget that the price tag is not just in the airtime, but also in production costs. This includes payment to actors such as Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins and Seth Rogan, so we can bump that cost up even more.

While companies such as Budweiser and Doritos have a big marketing budget where only a percentage goes toward the Super Bowl ads, companies such as Marmot and Weather Tech likely went all in on their attempt at engaging the largest television audience of the year.

But experts say that the cost to the business is not as important as the product they are selling.

Jason Deland, founding partner of the marketing agency Anomaly, said that a company needs to have a market of 100 million people for advertising to take hold. Marmot selling a jacket to the outdoor enthusiast still only engages a fraction of the Super Bowl audience because not everyone needs a high quality jacket to do snow angels in woodchips. But Anomaly, which did the two ads for Budweiser, and Deland believe that almost everyone could use a Bud.

David Selby of Schafer Condon Carter advertising in Chicago said that it works for companies looking at the massive showcase of a dramatic change in their product or business or those Super Bowl staples like Doritos and Pepsi that have turned the game into an “annual event for their business.” But there’s not much value to be gained from the middle ground, a company just looking to move a little more product. Selby argues that the $5 million might be better spent on many smaller campaigns toward a more specific market.

Still, 100 million of us stayed firmly in our seats during the breaks in the game to see hot dog-wearing wiener dogs and Steven Tyler singing to his portrait made of Skittles.


 Crop prices (Feb. 8)

Rio Creek Feed Mill – Algoma

Commodity Price (per bushel) Basis
Corn $3.24 -0.42
New-Crop Corn $3.39 -0.50
Soybeans $7.97 -0.71
New-Crop Soybeans $8.08 -0.75
Wheat (SRW) $4.07 -0.60
New-Crop Wheat (SRW) $4.06 -0.70


Fox River Valley Ethanol – Green Bay

Corn $3.36/bushel -0.30
New-Crop Corn $3.49/bushel -0.40


Basis: The difference between the local cash price for a commodity and the Chicago cash price (where the Board of Trade sets national futures price).


Gas Price Averages

United States: $1.74

United States one year ago: $2.18

Wisconsin: $1.56

Wisconsin one year ago: $2.18

Northern Door: $1.70

Sturgeon Bay: $1.66


Other Commodities

Gold: $1,193.60/troy ounce

Silver: $15.37/troy ounce

Oil: $30.02/barrel



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