Super Bowl Commercials are a Waste of Money

Watching the Super Bowl, it is hard to not get into the commercials and all of their creative work that makes them great. A 30-second spot on CBS during the Super Bowl this year ran for $5,000,000. More than 114,000,000 people watched the Super Bowl (and the Super Bowl commercials) last year, so assuming this number isn’t drastically different this year, that is $43.86 per thousand impressions (CPM).

According to Digiday, here are the costs of using that money digitally:


They charge a $20 CPM so you would reach 250,000,000 people that are snapping away (if that audience is who you are going for) for the same price.  That’s more than double the amount of people and also right in their hand.


On the cheaper side of Facebook, you can see around a $3 CPM, which means you could reach 1.6 billion people.  That’s more than 13 times as many people, and in a much more targeted way that wouldn’t just show them an impression, but generally would lead a good portion of them to click the ad and end up on your site or landing page.


You would have the ability to hit 3 billion impressions, or in other words, every single Twitter user ten times.

The list goes on with that budget:

Instagram  – $2 CPM, 2.5 billions impressions

Display – $1.90 CPM, 2.63 billion impressions

Pinterest – $30 CPM, 160 million impressions

The list goes on.  Keep in mind that the digital impressions can be much more selective and targeted (not just anyone in the world watching the Super Bowl and whatever that means to them).  So even with the mass appeal of Super Bowl commercials, you truly can’t beat digital marketing.

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