Super Bowl Sunday: Make America Great Again


Super Bowl 2017 kicks off on Sunday, 5th February in Houston, Texas and millions of people around the globe will tune in for this annual spectacle

Initiated in 1967 as a sports event, the annual Super Bowl has evolved into much more than a high-stakes game of American football, show-casing spectacular Ads alongside famous musical talent. This year there’s added poignancy as many of us hope it will bring the USA some much needed unity and cohesion.

Last year Super Bowl pulled an estimated 111 million Americans. That figure actually made it the most-watched TV program ever (the Oscars get about 40+ million).It will be translated in 34 languages for live broadcast around the globe.

In advertising terms, Mark Summers astutely calls it, ‘the Olympics of advertising’. 


Every NFL Football team wants to qualify and win at the ‘Big Party’ as it is affectionately called, while millions of people gather at bars and in their living rooms.

Unlike many sports events, the Super Bowl attracts casual sports fans because it is so much more than what we expect from a traditional game, with its famous half time show and the highly prized ads.
Super Bowl
From the 1970s, half-time performers have included Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson (where her wardrobe malfunction took place), The Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake, Black Eyed Peas, No Doubt, Madonna, Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj, Usher, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Coldplay and Lady Gaga.

super bowl

Michael Jackson’s Super Bowl half time performance in 1993

Lady Gaga will be back this year after her spine-tingling rendition of the American National Anthem last year, and has reportedly caused some concerns for the NFL with her stunt requests and vocal anti-Trump politics. We’re looking forward to that!

The Super Bowl Ad spots are as greatly anticipated as the game itself. Many people, and in particular spouses of sports fans, admit that they watch the event just for the Ads. A poll of young adults conducted days before last year’s game revealed that 59 percent were actually looking forward to seeing the advertisements. No fast forwarding happening here!

Of course the fans watch, but they also eat making Super Bowl Sunday the second biggest ‘snack day’ in the US, after Thanksgiving, another huge incentive for big brands to advertise.

Commercial casted by Mark Summers for Taco Bell Director Saman Kesh | Screened at 2016 Super Bowl

So what does it actually cost to make an Ad for the Super Bowl? 30-second commercials for the first Super Bowl in 1967 cost a mere $42,000, but that average broke the $1 million barrier in 1995 and hit a record high of $4.5 million in 2015.

CBS is charging $5 million for ads in 2016, or $166,666 per second. That doesn’t account for the cost of actually producing the commercial. In the last decade, the price for Super Bowl Ads has gone up 76% according to Kantar Media.

Famous directors that have shot Super Bowl Ads include Jon Favreau, Sophia Coppola, Peter Berg, David Fincher, Clint Eastwood, Zack Synder and Ridley Scott.

It was Scott that set the trend in 1984 with his iconic ad for Apple. Having made his name, with dystopian-world classics, Alien and Bladerunner, Scott’s unique vision won over a sceptical Steve Jobs to the power of advertising.


Mark Summers Casting was responsible for the casting of the soughtafter Jon Favreau spot ‘Wrigley’s RPM 5’ Super Bowl commercial. Favreau, the award winning director of the blockbuster series Ironman.

And herein lies another huge bonus in hiring famous directors: they attract celebrity endorsements, know how to manage a massive budget and bring their own credibility. No wonder millions stay tuned for the Ads as each year brings a new crop of exciting and innovative material.

According to the National Retail Federation over 77% viewers consider Super Bowl Ads as entertainment. No surprise then that everyone wants a piece of the action, if they can afford it.

Fun Facts for Super Bowl Sunday:

  • 1.25 billion chicken wings will be eaten
  • 11.2 million pounds of potato chips will be munched
  • 325.5 gallons of beer will be guzzled
  • $119.4 million was wagered on the Super Bowl 2016 at casinos in Las Vegas
  • Approximately 1.5 million people will call in sick to work the day after the big game

By Clea Myers
Follow me on Twitter @Camtweak

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