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Super Bowl Spots Up 7%

Jan 12, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The average price of a 30-second spot on the Super Bowl has jumped 7 percent to a record-breaking $2.25 million, solidifying the game’s role as the centerpiece of the marketing year.
CBS has sold 54 in-game spots for the Feb. 1 game to marketers such as Anheuser-Busch Cos., Frito-Lay, Pepsi-Cola Co. and Procter & Gamble. Eight slots remain, according to media buyers. As usual, those last spots are available for significantly less than the spots already sold, though the network is shuffling inventory in a bid to keep the value high. The fourth quarter is now selling for as low as $1.8 million, media buyers reported.
“Now CBS is trying to entice advertisers,” said one top media buyer. “Prices are negotiable, but they’re not diving yet. They’re freeing up other quarters to attract buyers.”
The game sell-off was moving at a fine clip until several weeks ago, when it stalled at 85 percent of inventory sold. Now media buyers are saying the game is slowly inching within a hair’s breadth of 90 percent sold
Inventory is still available in all quarters of the game, including the first, after some large advertisers either dropped out or cut 60-second spots down to 30 seconds, media buying executives told Advertising Age. “The market softened up a bit,” said a top media executive, “so there’s not a lot of money floating around out there. So that’s probably why they are trying to sell aggressively.”
CBS had no comment.
CBS also created ad packages in shows before and after the game, and in-game sponsorships. General Motors Corp.’s Cadillac, the official auto of the game, will run a 60-second spot during the game and will also appear during the broadcast of Phil Simms’ “All Iron Show,” an afternoon preview to the game. It will also have three 30-second spots launching the SRX sport utility vehicle in the “Cadillac Post Game Show.”
While broadcast TV continues to suffer serious erosion among viewers, the Super Bowl continues to defy trends. Last year, according to Nielsen Media Research, the game was picked up in more than 43 million households and watched by more than 88 million Americans. This year, media buyers project the game will draw 90 million viewers.
Jean Halliday and Bradley Johnson contributed to this report.