Super Bowl 2015 Post Game Report

Super Bowl XLIX By The Numbers

Nearly 48 Minutes of Paid Ad Time

Super Bowl XLIX featured the second largest amount of network commercial time from paying advertisers, surpassed only by the 2014 contest. Between the opening kickoff and the final whistle, NBC aired 39 minutes, 45 seconds of paid messages.

When promotional spots from NBC and the NFL are included in the tally, the total volume of ad time swells to 48 minutes, 25 seconds, making it the third most cluttered Super Bowl in history as measured by ad time. The game itself lasted approximately 3 hours, 35 minutes (including halftime) which means advertising accounted for almost 23 percent of the total broadcast.


Top Advertisers

Excluding the promotional messages aired by NBC and the NFL, 41 different parent companies aired a total of 56 in-game spots. Anheuser-Busch InBev and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had the largest ad buys with 3:30 minutes of ad time apiece. Toyota Motor was close behind at 3 minutes.

An Influx of First Time Advertisers

Thirteen parent companies made their in-game debut at Super Bowl XLIX and accounted for nearly one-third of the advertiser roster – noticeably higher than in previous years.


Three of the first-timers were mobile games: Clash of The Clans (which previously ran spots in the 2014 pre-game show), Game of War and Heroes Charge.

Newbies included four small-budget advertisers who made a big bet and bought time in the game: Avocados From Mexico, Loctite, Mophie and Wix.com.

The other freshmen were a diverse lot and included Carnival, Discover Card, Esurance, Jublia, Weight Watchers and the No More foundation.

A High Attrition Rate Among Sponsors

It’s a notable accomplishment when a football team returns to the Super Bowl the following year, as the Seattle Seahawks did in 2015. While it was same franchise, it wasn’t exactly the same team due to roster turnover. 19 of the 53 Seahawks that suited up for the 2014 game were not present this year, an attrition rate of 36 percent.

And while that may sound like a lot of turnover for a one year period, the rate among Super Bowl advertisers was far higher. Of the 39 parent companies that pitched messages in the 2014 game, 22 were absent in 2015 for an attrition rate of 56 percent. This matched the attrition rate from 2013 to 2014 and is the highest level since 2004-2005.

Longer Length Commercials: Automakers Lead The Way

There were 21 paid commercials in Super Bowl XLIX of 60 seconds or longer, the second highest total ever. (For consistency in trending, a one minute ad the NFL ran this year is excluded from these figures because historically the league has not paid for Super Bowl ad time). The surfeit of longer announcements meant that many commercial pods contained just two units from paying sponsors, which potentially gave each ad more visibility to the audience.



Auto manufacturers again were the primary users of long-form ads, accounting for 8 of the 20 spots. Two brands (Nissan and Jeep) each went a step further and aired a 90 second ad.


Top Categories


As expected, auto manufacturers had the biggest presence of all ad categories in the game, accounting for 11 spots and 11:00 minutes of ad time. Motion pictures were the second largest category with 4 minutes of spots for seven theatrical releases. Five of the films promoted during the game were from the Universal studio, a corporate relative of NBC under the Comcast umbrella.



The most notable reduction compared to last year was from the Food & Candy category, which had five commercials from four different brands, totaling 2:30 minutes. In 2014 the category was represented by eight brands and 5:15 of ad time.

Still A Traffic Jam For Auto Ads


A significant amount of the pre-game discussion around Super Bowl advertising seized on the dropout rate among auto manufacturers and the specter of a sharply reduced category footprint. Although 8 of the 11 nameplates from the 2014 game announced they would not participate in 2015, plenty of others stepped up. Nine different brands aired a total of eleven spots, a volume of activity comparable to 2014 and 2013. It was the fifth consecutive Super Bowl with 11 minutes or more of category ad time.

As a comparison, from 2001 through 2010 the auto category averaged six spots and 3:45 of in-game ad time per year.



The roster of auto nameplates for 2015 included BMW, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes, Nissan and Toyota.

Advertisers Score A Big Audience

With Super Bowl XLIX literally decided in the final seconds of the contest, viewership steadily grew throughout the night and advertisers with late game ad slots were rewarded with extra-large commercial audiences.

TV tuning data collected by Rentrak compares each commercial rating to the average rating for the entire game to produce an Average Rating Index (ARI) indicating the relative value of the commercial.

Rentrak found that sponsors in the final ad break of the game at the 2 minute warning (Wix.com, Victoria’s Secret and Heroes Charge) achieved ARI’s of 109-110%, highest of the night. The lowest ARI scores of the game (89%) occurred three hours earlier during the very first commercial pod of the first quarter. The spread from lowest to highest ARI was 20 points.

The Social Super Bowl

The Super Bowl generates plenty of second-screen activity during the game and marketers have accelerated their efforts to attract and engage multi-platform consumers. It’s evidenced by the increased number of ads containing a social media element.

According to Kantar Media’s analysis of paid commercials shown during the game, hashtags again surpassed URLs as the most popular call to action mechanism. 52 percent of paid ads (29 of 56) contained a hashtag as compared to 43 percent with a URL.
Social Media Element


About Kantar Media

Kantar Media provides critical information that helps our clients make better decisions about communications. We enable the world’s leading brands, publishers, agencies and industry bodies to navigate and succeed in a rapidly evolving media industry. Our services and data include analysis of paid media opportunities; counsel on brand reputation, corporate management and consumer engagement through owned media; and evaluating consumers’ reactions in earned media. As the global house of expertise in media and marketing information, Kantar Media provides clients with a broad range of insights, from audience research, competitive intelligence, vital consumer behavior and digital insights, marketing and advertising effectiveness to social media monitoring. Our experts currently work with 22,000 companies tracking over 4 million brands in 50 countries. For further information, please visit us at www.KantarMedia.US.




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