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Super Bowl LII draws over $400m ad revenue

February 6, 2018

Final confirmation of ad pricing and revenue figures for Super Bowl LII are not yet available, but Kantar Media’s preliminary and conservative estimate of total ad spending from in-game spots is $414 million (€367m). This is the second consecutive year the figure has exceeded $400 million.

When expenditures from pre-game and post-game programming are tabulated and included, the total revenue for the event will easily surpass $500 million.

Super Bowl In-Game Ad Revenue

(in millions)


2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 (prelim estimate)
$332 $345 $370 $419 $414

Source: Kantar Media


More Than 49 Minutes of Ad Time

Measured from the opening kickoff to the final whistle, Super Bowl LII contained 49 minutes, 35 seconds (49:35 mm:ss) of national commercials, tied for the third largest amount in history. (2013 holds the record at 51:40 mm:ss, due to additional ads run during a power outage; the overtime in 2017 enabled Fox to run four additional ads.) The game itself lasted 3 hours, 46 minutes (including halftime) which means advertising accounted for 22 per cent of the broadcast. By comparison the length of a typical NFL regular season telecast is 187 minutes with commercials accounting for 42 minutes (22 per cent) of the program.

Setting aside unpaid promotional spots from NBC Universal and the NFL, the game featured 40:10 minutes of national air time from paying sponsors. It was the third highest amount in Super Bowl history.

Network Ad Time (mm:ss)

In the Super Bowl Game




Total Ad Time  

Brand Ads

NFL Promos/PSA Network Promos
2018 49:35 40:10 2:00 7:25
2017 51:30 41:40 2:20 7:30
2016 49:35 39:45 1:30 8:20
2015 48:05 39:45 1:30 6:50
2014 49:15 41:00 1:50 6:25
Source: Kantar Media


Top Spenders

Excluding the promotional messages aired by NBC Universal and the NFL, there were a total of 62 in-game spots aired by 45 different advertisers from 37 unique parent company owners. The difference in counts between advertisers and parent owners is due to some parents showing commercials from more than one of the advertisers they own. (Example: Pepsico accounted for three advertisers in the game – Doritos, Mountain Dew and Pepsi)

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Fiat Chrysler Automotive were the top-spending parent companies in the game. Each purchased 4:00 mm:ss of air time. Toyota Motor was in third place with an estimated 3:00 mm:ss of commercials followed by at 2:30 mm:ss.

Top Parent Companies In 2018 Super Bowl Game


Parent Company Ad Time (mm:ss) # Units
Anheuser-Busch InBev 4:00 6
Fiat Chrysler Automotive 4:00 5
Toyota Motor 3:00 4 2:30 2

Source: Kantar Media


Rookie Advertisers in the Super Bowl

From 2008-2017 the Super Bowl attracted an average of eight first-time advertisers per year, many of them relatively small companies that viewed the game as a platform to increase brand awareness. The rookie turnout at Super Bowl LII was considerably smaller with just four players, the lowest number since Kantar Media started tracking this stat in 2007.

First-Time Parent Companies In The Super Bowl
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
All Parent Companies (#) 39 39 43 49 38
First-Time Parents (#) 9 11 10 11 4
First-Time Parents (%) 23% 28% 23% 22% 11%
Source: Kantar Media


The 2018 freshman roster included Australia Tourism,, Giant Bomb (a mobile game publisher) and Monster (audio headphones).


More Than 40 Per cent of 2017 Sponsors Did Not Return in 2018

Of the 49 parent companies that pitched messages in the 2017 game, 22 were absent this year for an attrition rate of 45 per cent. Coincidentally, the average attrition rate for the previous ten Super Bowls (2008-2017) was also 45 per cent.

Among the 11 companies that were first-time participants in 2017, ten did not return this year – a dropout rate of 91 per cent. The lone holdover from this group was Turkish Airlines.

Longer Length Commercials – A Resurgence

After two relatively slack years, long-form ads bounced back in Super Bowl LII. Of the 62 in-game commercials from paying sponsors, 19 were one minute or longer, the most since 2015.

Paid Ads Of 60+ Seconds In The Super Bowl*
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total # 23 21 16 14 19
% of All Brand Ads 41% 38% 26% 20% 31%
* Note: Network promotions, public service announcements and NFL ads are excluded from these calculations


Source:  Kantar Media


Auto manufacturers were again the most frequent users of long-length spots and accounted for seven of the 19 commercials (37 per cent), a similar proportion to the previous two years.

Auto’s Share of 60+ Second Ad Lengths
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
All 60+ Second Ads 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Auto Category 48% 43% 38% 36% 37%
* Note: Network promotions, public service announcements and NFL ads are excluded from these calculations


Source:  Kantar Media


Top Categories

For the ninth consecutive year auto manufacturers had the biggest presence of all ad categories in the game, accounting for 11 spots and 9:00 mm:ss of ad time. Beer advertising, all from Anheuser-Busch InBev, was the second-largest category with six units and 4:00 mm:ss of messages. Motion pictures and telecom were close behind. These four categories represented 40 per cent of the total commercial time from paying advertisers.



Leading Ad Categories In The 2018 Super Bowl




# of Parent Companies  

# Units

Ad Time (mm:ss)
Auto Manufacturers 4 11 9:00
Beer 1 6 4:00
Motion Pictures 3 5 3:30
Telecom 3 4 3:10

Source: Kantar Media



Auto, beer, movies and telecom are perennial top categories and Super Bowl viewers are accustomed to seeing lots of competing ads from them. But other categories also had rival brands battling it out during the commercial breaks in Super Bowl LII. Some notable examples:

  • Streaming Video Services – Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix
  • Soft Drinks – Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew
  • Laundry Detergents – Tide, Persil
  • Web Site Design – Squarespace, Wix


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