• The average cost of a 30-second commercial was $5 million this year.
• Brands are eager to be discussed on social media, with Snickers and Hyundai actually producing spots during the game to surprise viewers.
• Don’t look for lots of overt political statements, given that one advertiser’s commercial was deemed “too controversial” by Fox last month for featuring a border wall.
Brands from Mr. Clean to T-Mobile shell out for airtime
The average cost of a 30-second ad in the Super Bowl rose to $5 million this year, from $4.8 million last year and $2.4 million in 2007, according to figures from Kantar Media that were not adjusted for inflation. Add in the cost of producing a spot — and signing on a celebrity like Justin Bieber, in T-Mobile’s case — along with promoting it online, and it gets even pricier.
Audi ad about equal pay goes viral before the game
Audi’s ad advocating equal pay for women passed 5.9 million views on YouTube as of Sunday. It is narrated by a father asking questions about what to tell his young daughter one day as she competes in a cart race, such as: “Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?”
As she won the race, he remarks that maybe he will be able to “tell her something different.” The commercial ends with text including a line saying that Audi of America is “committed to equal pay for equal work.”
Fox and N.F.L. aim to avoid politics
84 Lumber, a private supplier of building materials in Pennsylvania that will run its first Super Bowl ad this year, said it was forced to change its plans for a commercial after Fox deemed its depiction of a Spanish-speaking mother and daughter confronting a border wall between the United States and Mexico as “too controversial.” An edited version, without a wall, will run before halftime.
Fox and the N.F.L. maintain the right to approve any ad. Fox declined to comment, but the network’s advertising guidelines online say that, in general, it will not sell commercial time “for viewpoint or advocacy of controversial issues,” and that advertisers cannot use the airtime to address such topics.