What a $6.5 Million Super Bowl Ad Can Buy in Digital Media


Brands advertising in this year’s Big Game would spend $6.5 million on a 30-second spot. The price makes Super Bowl LVI the most expensive game to announce yet, up $1 million from $5.5 million last year.

But for the chance to perform in front of millions of viewers at arguably the biggest sporting event of the year, brands like Frito-Lay say the cost is justified. And in light of the ongoing pandemic limiting live events and opportunities, the Super Bowl could be even more important for marketers this year.

To put those costs into perspective, here’s a look at what $6.5 million can afford a buyer in the digital realm. (Find our previous counts here, here and here.)

650 million impressions on a Facebook ad

Facebook has worked through major pain points over the past year, from a whistleblower accusing the social media giant of acting in bad faith to its first reported loss of users. Despite everything, he remains a dominant player. According to recent estimates from a media buyer, a Facebook ad could cost media buyers around $10 on average. With $6.5 million, buyers could get up to 650 million impressions.

843 million impressions on a TikTok ad

Over the past 18 months, TikTok has become the golden child of social media, having surpassed the billion user mark in a surprisingly short time and research showing that the short form video app’s advertising offerings are effective and sticky. That being said, brands can consider TikTok as a Super Bowl alternative and could get around 843 million impressions on a $6.5 million paid post. According to a media buyer, TikTok’s CPM averages around $7.71.

915,000 clicks on an Instacart search ad

As the pandemic continues, Big Game fans can choose to have their wings and beer delivered via grocery delivery and pickup services this year. Instacart has spent the last year increasing its advertising offerings, making it a strong retail media contender for advertisers looking to get more bang for their buck. According to a media buyer, $6.5 million could get a mark between 577,000 and 915,000 clicks on Instacart search ads. Before the Super Bowl, Instacart search ads range in price from $7.10 to $11.25, compared to an average of $5.70 to $9.

4.2 million clicks on Google search

Since early January, Google Trends has shown an increase in searches around the Super Bowl, with people looking to answer everything from teams playing to performances. Advertisers looking to capitalize on this stand to generate between 3.4 and 4.2 million Google search clicks for their Super Bowl spend. Right now, Google search ads are going from $1.55 to $1.90 cost per click, a significant increase from the $0.20 to $1.16 average thanks to the Super Bowl, per media buyer.

1.7 million clicks on display videos sponsored by Amazon

Amazon brought in $31 billion in advertising revenue last year, which means advertisers are no strangers to spending big with the retail giant. For $6.5 million, advertisers could get between 1.2 and 1.7 million clicks on an Amazon sponsored video ad. A media buyer said Amazon-sponsored display videos cost between $3.75 and $5.30 before the Big Game. Generally, these prices range from $3 to $4.25 per buyer.

30 Days of TikTok Branded Hashtag Challenges

For the price of a Super Bowl spot, media buyers say advertisers could get 30 days of TikTok-branded hashtag challenges. Currently, a hashtag challenge can earn advertisers $650,000 for three days, a media buyer added. For more context, launching a joint venture or product line with influencer Jimmy Donaldson, also known as MrBeast on social media with over 33 million followers, would likely result in an advertiser… ‘about $5 million, which is $1.5 million less than a Super Bowl spot (based on his latest venture funding). Alternatively, $6.5 million could get 6,500 posts from a TikTok micro-influencer with some 10,000 followers.


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