Published: Jan. 25, 2016

Super Bowl. Super commercials. Super high prices

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Communications and Brand Strategy, Robert Kolt Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing office: 517-355-2314 cell: 517-881-4446

When Michigan State University advertising instructor Robert Kolt says the 2016 Super Bowl is going to be a good game, he’s not talking football. He’s talking the commercials that air during the game.

Kolt said this year’s lineup of commercials is about as diverse as it gets, with everything from cars to beer to avocados to a company that is buying a 30-second ad which will then be used by a small business that could never come close to buying a Super Bowl ad.

And it’s no wonder. The average cost of a 30-second spot this year: $5 million.

“Buying an ad in the Super Bowl is usually a pretty good investment,” Kolt said. “That’s because it delivers the largest audience across all demographics than any other broadcast program in America. About 150 million viewers.”

Auto companies will be a big player during this year’s game, including General Motors, which sat out last year. Kolt said GM will use the time to advertise one of its re-designed Buick products.

Perhaps the biggest spender this year is Anheuser-Busch, which is the exclusive beer advertiser for the game. Kolt said the beer maker usually buys as many as a dozen 30-second commercials.

Software maker Intuit is holding its second annual competition in which small companies vie for a 30-second spot during the game. Companies submit stories about their businesses and why they should be showcased.

This year also marks the 19th consecutive year that MSU advertising professors will gather to watch and rate the Super Bowl commercials.

"There are many variables that help make a good Super Bowl ad," Kolt said. “MSU experts look for high-quality production, a clear product identification and message, and whether an ad makes a sale long after the game. We like the use of new technology in an integrated campaign."

“These ratings are done in an environment where we end up discussing the ads with other faculty, hearing the critiques of our colleagues and learning from those perspectives,” said Jef Richards, chairperson of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations. “We do have fun, but we’re learning at the same time and we’re then able to take that experience back to the classroom.”

The event starts at 6 p.m., Feb. 7, at the Pizza House, 4790 S. Hagadorn Road, East Lansing. Results will be available shortly after the game ends.

This year’s Super Bowl airs on CBS. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m.