True or False: Super Bowl Commercials


By: Staff

5 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

A single 30-second ad during the Super Bowl costs millions of dollars, and will be viewed by more than 100 million people. Test your knowledge on these iconic (and expensive) commercials.

All Super Bowl commercials are 30 seconds long.

Many of the most famous Super Bowl commercials are 60 seconds long, although the cost is still usually discussed in terms of 30-second increments.


Every advertiser pays the same amount for a commercial in a given Super Bowl.

Commercial cost varies depending on what part of the game it's broadcast during, as well as the advertising package deals the advertiser may have negotiated with the network.


Ridley Scott, director of blockbuster films like "Gladiator" and "Blade Runner," has directed Super Bowl commercials.

Scott directed Apple's famous "1984" ad, as well as Super Bowl ads for Nissan.


Apple's "1984" ad is famous for being the longest Super Bowl commercial ever broadcast.

"1984" has become legendary for being the first big "event" commercial. The longest Super Bowl commercial was a Chrysler commercial broadcast in 2011.


Despite record viewership numbers, Super Bowl advertisers actually get fewer viewers per dollar spent today than in prior years.

Using ad costs adjusted for inflation, advertisers got about 100 viewers per dollar until 1983, when the number began to fall. Today's ads are seen by 30 to 40 viewers per dollar spent.


A single Super Bowl has about 45 minutes of advertising in it.

This is known as the ad inventory. The network can't sell all of it, because they'll use some to promote their own shows.


A famous McDonald's commercial featured Larry Bird and Michael Jordan facing off in a boxing ring.

The two basketball greats competed in a game of HORSE to see who could do the best trick shot.


Networks compete with each other to secure the rights to broadcast the Super Bowl from the NFL.

CBS, FOX and NBC negotiate a joint contract to broadcast NFL games (including the Super Bowl). The Super Bowl rotates among the three networks over the course of the contract.


All advertisers rely on advertising agencies to create and produce their Super Bowl commercials.

Some companies have their own in-house advertising and marketing divisions.


A commercial during the first Super Bowl in 1967 only cost $40,000.

The game was broadcast simultaneously by CBS and NBC, and the average commercial cost was roughly $40,000.


A network brings in about $500 million in advertising fees for a single Super Bowl.

The actual number is about half that.


Super Bowl viewership has more than doubled since 1967.

In fact, it's increased more than twenty-fold since then: Super Bowl I had about 50,000 viewers. The 2011 Super Bowl had 11 million.


Today's Super Bowl advertisers pay about 30 cents per viewer who sees their commercial.

That number has grown exponentially -- for many years, the inflation-adjusted rate was about a penny per viewer.


Super Bowl commercials are broadcast once, then never seen again.

Many Super Bowl commercials are re-aired in the weeks after the game, and today they receive hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. Some of the more famous commercials, like "1984" and Budweiser's Clydesdale 9/11 tribute, do have added mystique because they were only shown once.


The commercials have become almost as big an event as the game itself.

Industry analysts examine the performance of each commercial, how much it benefits the advertiser, the impact on brand recognition and other factors. Many people claim to watch the Super Bowl just to see the commercials.


Each advertiser is only allowed to run a single commercial during the Super Bowl.

Anheuser-Busch always runs multiple commercials, sometimes as many as ten. The only limit is the advertiser's budget.


The "Terry Tate: Office Linebacker" commercial was an ad for Office Max.

It was an ad for Reebok.


The Old Spice "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" commercial debuted during the 2010 Super Bowl.

It actually debuted online and wasn't actually shown during the Super Bowl.


Networks recoup most of the cost of their NFL broadcast rights with the Super Bowl.

The bulk of the money networks make on NFL rights come from regular season and playoff games, although the Super Bowl does contribute a big percentage in the years that the network broadcasts the game.


Super Bowl commercials are filmed in secrecy, kept under wraps and not unveiled until the first broadcast.

This used to be the case, but today commercials are debuted on YouTube weeks before the game to help build interest and hype for the actual broadcast.


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