TEXT OF STORY
Bill Radke: For only the second time in history, Super Bowl ads have dropped in price. TNS Media Intelligence reports CBS is selling 30-second spots during the Super Bowl for between $2.5 [million] to $2.8 million, compared to the record $3 million last year on NBC. Marketplace’s senior business correspondent Bob Moon has the story:
Bob Moon: There’s a touch of irony in this commercial from last year’s Super Bowl:
COMMERCIAL VOICE 1: Come on people, we gotta focus. We’re not leaving until we’ve met our budget. We need ideas.
COMMERCIAL VOICE 2: We could cut back on marketing.
It turns out a guy who suggests not buying beer for staff meetings gets thrown out the window, but it’s the one who talked about cutting back on marketing that ad agencies and networks undoubtedly would prefer to get the heave-ho.
Advertising is among the first things to go when consumers are less likely to buy. So why would any company still spend up to $2.8 million for just 30 seconds of our attention?
Professor Jim Albright teaches advertising at the University of North Texas:
Jim Albright: The smart ones always say that during the bad times, the pie gets smaller, so you should spend more money on advertising to get a bigger piece of the shrinking pie.
Albright says that’s why it’s actually a good time to be buying a spot on the Super Bowl. He remembers it wasn’t always such an image-builder, back when he was a national ad man writing Super Bowl commercials for Frito-Lay.
Albright: It didn’t seem the matter of pride that it is now. It just was another buy to me at the time.
But now he says it makes good sense to be buying into the big leagues, especially with all the free publicity the ads get every year.
In Los Angeles, I’m Bob Moon for Marketplace.
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