Are Super Bowl commercials worth the money?


Some people, especially non-sports fans, only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials.

But should companies shell out big bucks for their products? That’s literally the $5 million question.

Super Bowl ads cost a record-breaking $5 million this year, and for the first time ever, the same ads will be streamed online.

But are they worth it?

Food and beverage giant PepsiCo says it’s a no-brainer.

“The investment around this platform of Super Bowl is a big platform that for fans of the NFL is not just about that Sunday,” explained Seth Kaufman, chief marketing officer, Pepsi. “All the analysis we do is worth the money we’re putting against it because we’re getting great payback across our business.”

“We’ll have 75,000 displays in every one of our retailers across the country. Two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl is the biggest purchase on snack and beverages. So for sure, if you look at the entirety of it, it definitely pays off,” said Ram Krishnan, chief marketing officer, Frito-Lay.

When asked how ‘safe’ Frito-Lay stays with its ad content, Krishnan responded, “Well, especially with like a brand like Doritos, which is targeted to a 19-year-old consumer, we’re always going to get creative, which is going to offend someone.”

Common themes in Doritos Super Bowl ads are animals and babies.

“For five years, I think we’ve finished as the number-one spot,” Krishnan said. “It’s sense of humor. You’ve got to entertain. I think as a brand, you’ve got to entertain the consumers. Obviously, kids and animals tend to do that.”

Pepsi, on the other hand, has focused on celebrities in the past, from Michael J. Fox and Cindy Crawford in the ’80s and ’90s to Britney Spears and even Elton John in more recent years.

“We used to hire celebrities as spokesperson (but that’s) no longer the case,” Krishnan said. “Now we want to understand what’s their narrative and what’s the value they’re adding. So it’s very different from how we’ve traditionally used celebrities in the past.”

As for what you can expect this year? You’ll have to wait until Super Bowl Sunday.

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