The Super Bowl is about more than just the football

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This Sunday, millions of Americans will tune in to watch Super Bowl 50. In fact, the Super Bowls consistently rank among the most watched television broadcasts in history, with last year’s Super Bowl XLIX breaking records with an estimated total of 168 million viewers in the U.S.

It’s not surprising, then, that most advertisers clamor for a chance to have their ads played during the game. In fact, the commercials have become an integral part of the Super Bowl, with some studies estimating that a quarter to a half of the viewership is there specifically for the ads. Today, a 30-second spot costs around $5 million, which is double what it cost just 16 years ago. Comparatively, the average cost of a prime time television ad last year was approximately $345,000.

TV advertising has evolved in the last 40 years. In 1974, pioneering video collective TVTV produced a documentary about the making of commercials called Adland. In a profession often viewed as slimy hucksters or dramatized as slick and glamorous con-artists, Adland took a rare inside look at the real admen of the time, how they viewed themselves, and how they viewed their work.

You can watch the full version of Adland on Media Burn, plus check out another TVTV documentary from ’76 about Super Bowl X.



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