The 7 Most Expensive Super Bowl Ads Of All Time

Which Brands Have Managed To Waste The Most Amount Of Money In 30 Seconds

When it comes to Super Bowl commercials, companies don’t usually hold back. Once they’ve dished out the huge money in securing their 30 second ad spot, they also have to invest in producing the commercial that will (hopefully) bring them far more than 30 seconds of fame and fortune. In last year’s game, companies had to shell at an average of $4.5 million for a half-minute commercial. If that isn’t enough to make your stomach turn, factor in that the average Super Bowl commercial costs another $1 million to produce. But through the years, some companies have gone above and beyond, investing obscene amounts of dough (even by Super Bowl standards) in their annual pitch to the masses.

Pathetically, research finds that these crazy investments don’t necessarily translate into sales. So what were the most expensive (ahem, wasteful) commercials of all time? Take a look… Now if only we could use some of this cash to solve world hunger…

7. Taco Bell’s “Viva Young” (2013) – $7.6 Million

Taco Bell hired every senior actor they could find for this fun commercial showing the elderly living la vida loca and pulling an all nighter. How does a 70+ partygoer top off a night on the town? With a trip to where else – but Taco Bell. We’re not sure why this ad cost so darn much, but maybe it had something to do with the insurance policy for all those old folks.


6. Coca-Cola’s “America is Beautiful (2014) – $8 Million

You can buy a whole lot of Coca-Cola with $8 million dollars! But the guys at Coke chose to spend it on this one minute ad. The beautiful piece shows scenes of diverse Americans while “America the Beautiful” plays in the background. We’re not sure what’s more perplexing: Why this commercial cost $8 million or why some people found it so offensive?


5. Microsoft’s “Empowering” (2014) – $8 Million

Microsoft showed off the incredible capabilities of technology in their 2014 Super Bowl commercial. A real tearjerker, this emotional clip touched our hearts. From helping the deaf hear to connecting people around the world, technology allows us to explore, interact, recover and heal. But all that comes with a hefty price tag – let’s hope Microsoft has some cash leftover to invest in more life-saving technology.


4. Kia’s “Matrix” (2014) – $8 Million

Creating a parallel reality complete with fireworks, gravitating cars, exploding street lights and Morpheus from the Matrix does not come cheaply. But we’re glad the guy in the ad chooses the red key, because this famous 2014 Super Bowl clip was fun to watch and brought us back to that time back in 1999 when we sat in the theater and first saw The Matrix on the big screen.


3. Jaguar’s “British Villains Rendezvous” (2014) – $8 Million

Leave it to the makers of one of the most expensive cars in the world to create one of the most expensive Super Bowl commercials of all time. They spared nothing in creating this dramatic mini-movie featuring Tom Hiddleston, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Mark Strong. While we usually consider the British refined, the UK-based automaker was totally unrestrained when they approved the budget for this ad. Was it worth it? See for yourself and decide.


2. Bud Light’s “Up for Whatever” (2014) – $12 Million

It’s not that hard to imagine how Bud Light was able to rack up such an outrageous price tag for the 2014 commercial from last year’s Super Bowl. Even if “regular Joe” Ian Rappaport didn’t require a huge paycheck, the 1 minute and 30 second as is filled with A-list celebrities, a variety of different locations, elaborate cinematography and more. Bud Light didn’t spare a dime when they planned this unforgettable evening of surprises for the unsuspecting Rappaport. From helicopters and llamas to Reggie Watts and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the ad was widely considered one of the best of 2014.


1. Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” (2011) – $12.4 Million

Here it is – the most expensive Super Bowl ad of all time! This epic 2-minute ad for the Chrysler 200, features Eminem driving around his hometown of Detroit. It might well have been worth the staggering price tag, not only for Chrysler for but for the 700,000 people who call the city of Detroit home. In Forbes magazine, Rob Siltanen, founder and chief creative officer of ad agency Siltanen & Partners, called the 2011 Super Bowl commercial a “game-changer.” Not only have Chrysler’s sales improved more than 50% in the years since the commercial was released, but the ad has been credited with re-branding and renewing the city of Detroit and reviving the struggling American auto-industry.

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