Super Bowl 50 Advertising Sells-Out at Record Nearly $5 Million for :30; What Can Advertisers Expect in Return?

Over 3/4 of Super Bowl Ad Campaigns Fail, Communicus Finds

TUCSON, Ariz. – Communicus, the research-based advertising consultancy with decades of experience measuring and diagnosing billions of dollars in placed advertising, has evaluated the effectiveness of over 150 Super Bowl commercials between 2011 and 2015. Advertisers who have invested the $5 million – or more, for those who’ve bought longer lengths – are eagerly anticipating the reactions to their spots.

Communicus finds over 75% of Super Bowl ads fail.

For those who hope to build their brands on the basis of the buy, Communicus data from the past four Super Bowls suggests that the odds are stacked against them – only one in five commercials produces any meaningful movement for the brand on future purchase intentions or other markers of brand health.

As the Super Bowl approaches, key takeaways for winning campaigns include:

  • Although the audience is large and attentive, most advertisers would attain far higher awareness if they invested their $5mm on a cross-platform campaign that included multiple video exposures and digital banner ads. The price is simply too high and the clutter too great for the buy to offer efficiencies.
  • Most advertisers cannot expect to change minds about their brand with just a single, albeit high profile, exposure. The odds of success are better for advertisers who have something truly new to say, as opposed to those who are striving to reinforce or change an existing brand image.
  • Pre-game activations are a best practice to ensure that the commercial is noticed and that the brand’s message penetrates. Activations that offer the consumer a reward for participating, e.g., the chance to win a prize, are more effective than those that simply encourage commercial views or shares. Additionally, any commercial concept should tie to the brand platform vs. simple entertainment value. In 2015, effective integrated campaigns included the Mercedes #TheBigRace contest, McDonald’s Pay with Lovin’ promotion, Wix #ItsThatEasy contest and Nissan with its #WithDad video series. In contrast, GoDaddy, Doritos and Budweiser generated substantial pre-game publicity that did not impact on brand health.
  • Advertisers are advised to pre-release their commercials, ideally with either paid posts or publicity to draw viewers’ attention to the spot. In recent years, those who pre-released their spots achieved, on average 15% higher branded awareness.

Study Methodology

For the fifth year, Communicus will conduct a research study providing advertisers with insights on how every Super Bowl ad performs on both engagement and persuasion. Interviewing the same 3,000 consumers pre and post-event, Communicus isolates the changes in brand preference and behaviors that occur as a result of advertising engagement.

In recognition of the importance of all of the tactics that advertisers employ within their Super Bowl advertising programs, the study has been expanded to encompass how the brand’s entire effort, including publicity, teasers, contests and pre-releases works together. While most Super Bowl analyses look only at the commercial or online activity, the Communicus study provides metrics on how they amplify each other to produce results for the brand.

Results of this study will be announced following the 2016 Super Bowl. For more on Communicus Super Bowl advertising research findings, go to

About Communicus, Inc.

Communicus is an advertising research firm specializing in integrated campaign measurement solutions that isolate the impact of advertising and other marketplace factors on brands. For over 50 years, Communicus has employed a unique and unparalleled research method that provides Fortune 100 advertisers like ConAgra Foods, MillerCoors, Wrigley and HP with the competitive advantage that emerges from a more complete understanding of how consumers are engaging with and impacted by advertising and integrated marketing campaigns. Communicus provides insights on the effectiveness and synergies between both traditional advertising and non-traditional online and offline communication platforms. Further to brand building, Communicus provides research-based insights that help advertisers develop strategic platforms and creative strategies that will succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. To learn more about the Communicus difference, visit

via BusinessWire