Super Bowl 2013 Advertising Extravaganza


With roughly 108,000,000 viewers worldwide, the Super Bowl has become one of the premier venues for marketers. The thrills, the chills, the laughter, the tears – and that’s just the advertisements! At a cost of $3.8 million for 30 seconds of air time, the Super Bowl is also the most expensive advertising placement of any event or show. Add the costs of designing and producing ads, plus the integration into other marketing tactics, and a company can easily spend upwards of $5 million at a single event.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Super Bowl advertisements have become a talking point during and after the game. It’s a big stage, and can also be a big risk (consider the reactions to Go Daddy ads!). Several companies bought multiple units including Anheuser-Busch In Bev with 4:30 of air time, Audi at 60 seconds, Doritos with two 30 second spots, Go Daddy with two 30 second spots, and Coca-Cola (using an innovative social media outreach campaign) bought one minute in the first quarter, followed by 30 seconds later in the game.

Coke’s campaign launched on Facebook with a contest between three rival groups – showgirls, cowboys, and badlanders – racing through a desert scene in quest of a giant bottle of Coke. Fans could vote online as to the winners, and throw race challenges in front of the competing teams. Based on fan input, Coke then determined the final commercial late in the game showcasing the winning team.

Watch the ads – which company do you think did the best, and worst, job on their advertisements?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Bring up one of the Web sites that have all the Super Bowl ads. These can be found on,,,, and other sites.
  2. Divide students into teams of two. Have each team select a Super Bowl ad to analyze and present in class.
  3. What is the target market, key message, and offer from the ad?
  4. How does the ad integrate with a company’s other advertisements?
  5. Are the messages integrated with a company’s Web site and social media?
  6. As a class, after each commercial have students assign one to five starts for the advertisements. Which ad won your class votes?

Source:  Ad Age Daily,, other news sources, 2/5/13

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