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Commercials come long way

See how the 30-second advertisements

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 14:02



The notion that our (mine is at least) beloved Green Bay Packers won't be running onto the Lucas Oil Stadium field for Super Bowl XLVI is a fact I still cannot accept; alas, the time is nearly here. Even if our favorite teams couldn't make the cut, America cannot wait to watch the biggest game of the year; even more so, the advertisements. Some of us tune into a television program just so we can see the alluring ads; we take a snack or bathroom break during big plays but remain tied to the TV during commercial breaks. We've come to love the Super Bowl for far more than just team appreciation.  

Super Bowl commercials began in 1967 at Super Bowl I, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. As viewership burgeoned through the years, so did the cost and competition to run advertisements during the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl's early commercials were somewhat tame and inexpensive costing around $42,000 for a 30-second commercial in 1967. That's pocket change compared to the $3.5 million price tag of a 30-second commercial for the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI. To help put this in perspective, I did a little research about the value of a dollar in 1967 compared to today, and found the increase in the fees charged for sponsor advertisements outpaced inflation at a ridiculous rate. I found that $42,000 in 1967 would buy approximately what $274,000 buys today.  That's a 652 percent increase. If the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl commercial kept in line with inflation, that $42,000 spot would cost about $283,500, a far cry from the $3.5 million being charged today, which represents a 8,333 percent increase. That's not including the most expensive Super Bowl ad in history, named "Made in Detroit." Chrysler aired the ad to promote their Chrysler 200, driven by rapper and Detroit native Eminem in hopes of boosting car sales. The cost? An estimated $9-11 million dollars. Now that's competition.

And with more viewers and more companies shelling out millions for a hot spot ad, recent Super Bowl ads have become racier and more controversial, like the Skechers shoes commercial featuring a barely-clothed Kim Kardashian insinuating "activities" with a shirtless male costar. With an estimated 100 million viewers tuning in each year, it's no surprise that the most intense commercials of the year flock to the Super Bowl. I know I'll be eagerly watching them in my green and gold. 

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