Academy Awards ad spend reached 650 million over past 10 years


With the Super Bowl behind us and a settlement reached in the writer’s strike, the TV industry now turns its eyes towards the Academy Awards on February 24th. Often referred to in advertising circles as “the Super Bowl for women”, the event continues to be a marquee franchise for advertisers. TNS Media Intelligence has compiled key figures and trends on the past 10 years of Academy Awards advertising.
According to TNS, marketers have spent over 650 million during the past decade to advertise during the live network TV broadcast of the awards ceremony.

Over the past 10 years, the price of a :30 second spot in the Academy Awards has increased by 75%, reaching 1.67 million in 2007. Total ad spend in the show has almost doubled during this period. The cost of a :30 unit in the ceremony has consistently been about 35% less than the Super Bowl.

A short list of blue-chip advertisers, representing a diverse range of categories, have accounted for over 60% of the total amount. GM, American Express, JC Penney, L’Oreal, McDonalds and MasterCard have been recurring sponsors. Pepsico, which was a sponsor through 2005, and Coca-Cola, which took over the beverage category sponsorship in 2006, round out the top of the list. The aggregate spend from these marketers during the past 10 Academy Award shows is 381.2 million.

The Academy Awards is also significant for its annual retention of advertisers. On average, over the past 10 years, 75% of the yearly ad spend in the telecast has come from advertisers who bought time the previous year. This is a higher retention level than the Super Bowl achieves (63%).
In an era where the trend is towards greater amounts of TV ad time, the Academy Awards stands out for the uncluttered environment it offers marketers.

In recent years, the show has been averaging 9-10 minutes of network ads per hour. This amount includes 7-8 minutes of paid messages with the remainder being promotional plugs from the network for its own programming. The comparable figure for the Super Bowl is 10.5 -12.0 minutes per hour and for a typical hour of prime time network programming it is 14-15 minutes.