Super Bowl Ads to Set New Sales Record

NBC has announced that all ad space during the big game has been sold out, with dollar amounts expected to top last year.

By Eric Alt
|  Friday, Jan 6, 2012  |  Updated 7:02 PM CDT
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New York Giants 2011-12 Championship Season

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Over 111 million people watched the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl last year, and advertisers are banking on even more this February.

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The dollar amounts have gone up, but commercial air time during the Super Bowl is still a hot commodity.

NBC has announced that all available ad space during the big game is officially sold out, and although the network is not revealing the price tags associated with the slots, the figures are expected to top last year's significantly.

According to the Associated Press, 30-second commercial spots will be going for between $3.5 million and $4 million, with longer-form ads commanding much more.

With that money comes an audience that has been growing steadily since 2001, topping 111 million last year despite two relatively small-market teams - the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers - facing off. This year's game, regardless of which teams make it, is expected to draw even more. 

Despite the prevalence of DVR, which allows for easy commercial skipping, the fact that the majority of people want to watch the game live as well as the commercials themselves becoming part of the overall viewing experience have kept the numbers steady. 

"It’s a huge investment," says Brian Steinberg, television editor for Advertising Age. “Fewer TV properties have that reach thanks to DVR and the Web. The Super Bowl is increasing, rather than losing, its audience.”

The popularity of longer-form ads, such as Cadillac's two-minute tribute to the city of Detroit featuring rapper Eminem, may also contribute to the viewership numbers as well as the higher price tags.

Super Bowl XLVI will air live from Indianapolis, Indiana February 5th on NBC.

Selected Reading: MSNBC, Advertising Age, Contact Music

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