The Price is Right: Super Bowl Sunday Ads Edition

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New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons helmets and logo football at NRG Stadium. REUTERS/USA Today Sports

Updated  | On just one night a year, the majority of Americans are willing to look past their local allegiances, long-standing biases, or complete ambivalence to sports and come together to watch the ultimate in escapist television: The Super Bowl. In 2015, it even shattered records to become the highest-viewed television event of all time, which put the airtime and the expectations for entertainment at an all-time premium. And that premium isn't cheap: The price of a 30-second advertisement during the game comes in at $5 million dollars—a full 200 percent more than it cost just 10 years ago.  But is the advertising actually worth the high price tag?

In order to understand a bit more why it is that companies would feel that such an investment was warranted, we broke down the economics of the situation in the best way we know how: By pretending it's a game of The Price is Right.

First, we took the $5 million price tag and applied that to the amount of time that 44 different brands—in categories spanning cars, food and drink, consumer goods and subscriptions—spent on their 2017 advertising buy. From there, we dug up just how much each advertised product will cost for the consumer—for brands that were advertising a message over a specific product, we picked a best-selling product from their roster—and came up with the number of items that they'd have to sell to break even on their Super Bowl spend. 

chpriceisright25 An overview of the data. Chelsea Hassler

Now that the Super Bowl is over, we can also add a bit more data into the mix: per TiVo's annual post-game report, we now know which ads hit their mark—and which ones didn't pass muster.  Here's their in-house wrap:

tivopostgamereport-page-001 TiVo post-Super Bowl report. TiVo

So grab a super-sized party bowl of potato chips, crack open a beer and see how well you know the price of your favorite products—and decide whether the companies we know and love paid the right (or wrong) price for their ads this year. 

CARS

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 10 The average number of cars per ad. Chelsea Hassler

An average of 267 cars would need to be sold to break even.

Ford

Spend: $15M on 90 seconds.
Car price: The F150 has an MSRP starting at $26,730.
Sales needed to break even: 561 cars.

Kia

Spend: $10M on 60 seconds.
Car price: The Niro has an MSRP starting at $22,890.
Sales needed to break even: 437 cars.

Audi

Spend: $10M on 60 seconds.
Car price: The A3 has an MSRP starting at $31,200.
Sales needed to break even: 321 cars.

Buick

Spend: $5M on 30 seconds.
Car price: The Encore has an MSRP starting at $22,990.
Sales needed to break even: 217 cars.

Lexus 

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Car price: The LC50 has an MSRP starting at $100,000.
Sales needed to break even: 50 cars.

Mercedes

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Car price: The Mercedes AMG GT Roadster costs $349,000.
Sales needed to break even: 14 cars.

SUBSCRIPTIONS & SERVICES

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 10 The average number of new users per ad. Chelsea Hassler

An average of 102,345 users would need to sign up in order to break even.

H&R Block

Spend:  $10M for 60 seconds.
Service price: A deluxe tax file costs $34.99.
Sales needed to break even: 285,796 users.

GoDaddy

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Service price: A .com website costs $17.98 for two years.
Sales needed to break even: 278,087 users.

TurboTax

Spend:  $7.5k for 45 seconds.
Service price: A deluxe tax file costs $34.99.
Sales needed to break even: 214,347 users.

Netflix

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Subscription price: A standard subscription costs $119.98 per year.
Sales needed to break even: 41,674 users.

Hulu

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Subscription price: A commercial-free subscription costs $143.88.
Sales needed to break even: 34,751 users.

Wix

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Subscription price: A one-year unlimited plan costs $168.
Sales needed to break even: 29,762 users.

Squarespace

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Service price: A yearly business subscription costs $216. 
Sales needed to break even: 23,148.

Sprint

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Service price: One phone line costs $600 for one year.
Sales needed to break even: 8,333 sign-ups.

T-Mobile

Spend: $10M for 60 seconds.
Service price: TMobileOne costs $1,920 for one year.
Sales needed to break even: 5,208 sign-ups.

FOOD & CANDY

candypriceisright The average number of items per ad. Chelsea Hassler

An average of 1,002,596 items would need to be sold in order to break even.

Snickers

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: An 11-ounce Fun Size bag costs $2.89.
Sales needed to break even: 1,730,104 bags.

Skittles

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: A 14-ounce bag costs $3.59.
Sales needed to break even: 1,392,758 bags.

King's Hawaiian

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: A 12-pack of sweet rolls costs $3.99.
Sales needed to break even: 1,253,133 packs.

Wendy's

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: A Hot'n Juicy double with cheese costs $5.19.
Sales needed to break even: 963,391 burgers.

Avocados from Mexico

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: A bag of four avocados costs $5.39.
Sales needed to break even: 927,644.

KFC

Spend: $2.5M for 15 seconds.
Item price: A 2-piece chicken combo costs $5.99.
Sales needed to break even: 417,362 combos.

Wonderful Pistachios

Spend: $2.5M for 15 seconds.
Item price: An 8-ounce bag of pistachios costs $7.49.
Sales needed to break even: 333,778 bags.

SODA, ALCOHOL & WATER

drinkspriceisirhgt The average number of drinks per ad. Chelsea Hassler

An average of 1,498,832 drinks would need to be sold in order to break even.

Lifewtr

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds. 
Item price: A flip-top bottle costs $2.06.
Sales needed to break even: 2,427,184 bottles.

Coca-Cola

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds. 
Item price: A 2-liter bottle costs $2.19. 
Sales needed to break even: 2,283,105 bottles.

Sprite

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds. 
Item price: A 2-liter bottle costs $2.19. 
Sales needed to break even: 2,283,105 bottles.

Bai

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds. 
Item price: A bottle costs $2.47. 
Sales needed to break even: 2,024,291 bottles.

Bud Light

Spend: $10M for 60 seconds. 
Item price: A six-pack costs $7.00. 
Sales needed to break even: 1,428, 571 six-packs.

Budweiser

Spend: $10M for 60 seconds. 
Item price: A six-pack costs $7.00. 
Sales needed to break even: 1,428, 571 six-packs.

Busch

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds. 
Item price: A six-pack costs $4.
Sales needed to break even: 1,250,000 six-packs.

Fiji Water

Spend: $2.5M for 15 seconds. 
Item price: A bottle costs $2.99.
Sales needed to break even: 836,120 bottles.

Michelob Ultra

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds. 
Item price: A six-pack costs $7. 
Sales needed to break even: 714,286 six-packs.

Yellow Tail

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds. 
Item price: A 1.5 liter bottle costs $15.97.
Sales needed to break even: 313,087 bottles.

CONSUMER GOODS

numberofitems Average number of items per ad. Chelsea Hassler

An average of 421,940 items would need to be sold in order to break even.

Mr. Clean

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: A bottle of all-purpose cleaner costs $3.
Sales needed to break even: 1,666,667 bottles.

Febreze

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: A meadows and rain-scented can costs $3.99.
Sales needed to break even: 1,253,133 cans.

Evony: The King's Return

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: 1,000 gems cost $4.99.
Sales needed to break even: 1,002,004 in-app purchases.

It's a 10

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: He's a 10 Miracle Pliable Paste costs $16.96.
Sales needed to break even: 294,811 units.

World of Tanks

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: An "essentials kit" costs $29.99.
Sales needed to break even: 166,722 in-app purchases.

Mobile Strike

Spend: $10M for 60 seconds.
Item price: A "pack upgrade" costs $99.99.
Sales needed to break even: 100,010 in-app purchases.

Michelin

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: A Primacy MXM4 Tire costs $109.
Sales needed to break even: 45,872 units.

Google

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds.
Item price: A Google Home costs $129.
Sales needed to break even: 38,760 units.

Tiffany & Co

Spend: $10M for 60 seconds.
Item price: An infinity pendant in sterling silver and blue costs $300.
Sales needed to break even: 33,333 necklaces.

WeatherTech

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds. 
Item price: FloorLiners for front and back cost $214. 
Sales needed to break even: 23,364 liners.

Nintendo

Spend: $5M for 30 seconds. 
Item price: A Switch costs $300. 
Sales needed to break even: 16,667 systems.