Cost can’t stop Super Bowl ads

Advertisers are forking over a record $ 900,000 for each 30 seconds of commercial time during next month’s Super Bowl on NBC.

And a month before the Jan. 30 contest, NBC has sold all but eight of 56 half-minute spots available on the National Football League championship.

The price is up 5.9% from $ 850,000 for the 1993 game, a lopsided Dallas Cowboys win that disappointed advertisers hoping for a close game to retain viewers.

If all the half-minute spots sell at around the $ 900,000 price, the network will bring in $ 50.4 million, exceeding the approximately $ 41 million it paid for broadcast rights.

The Super Bowl — which drew 133.4 million American viewers last year — always attracts innovative ads showcasing new products, new celebrity sponsors or technological gimmicks.

This year, the buying comes during an ad rebound in an improving economy.

“Demand this year has picked up,” said Arnold Chase, director of national broadcast media for Vitt Media International Inc., which buys commercial time.

Regular Super Bowl advertisers will return, including Anheuser-Busch Cos. and its Bud Bowl with competing gridiron beer bottles; sneaker makers Nike Inc. and Reebok International Ltd.; and soft-drink makers Pepsico and Dr Pepper-Seven-Up Cos.

Reebok will have one 60-second spot featuring Orlando Magic basketball star Shaquille O’Neal singing his rap song “Shoot Pass Slam.”

Tom Sharbaugh, brand management vice president at Anheuser-Busch, said the company’s sales in January — typically a slow month in the beer business — shot up 20% this year thanks to Super Bowl advertising and related promotions.

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