It is one of the age old questions asked and answered by just about everyone: what would you do with a million dollars? If you are the proprietors of one of the biggest sellers of anything from soda to cars, the answer isn’t “buy a TV commercial.” This is because all of the costliest commercials had over million dollar price tags, and in many cases, multi-million dollar price tags.
To prove it, we have gathered the 10 most expensive TV ads of all time. They include entries from some of the most well-known brands in the world to others that will have you Googling what they do or who they even are. So grab a flash player and get set to spend 30 seconds evaluating what it took others months and millions to create.
- Guinness Domino
If you had $20 million, would you buy million dollar mansions, Jay Leno’s car collection, or some other outlandish item? If you are the maker of the Guinness Beer, it would be this commercial. Although it is quite the impressive feat of domino engineering, there are no big stars or fancy effects to justify the price tag. In fact, the blogger at Luxuo writes that the many subjects of the film had no idea they were on camera.
- Most Expensive Political Ad
Think Obama is the most spending president in history? This may be true budget wise, but President George W. Bush holds the record for the most expensive political television ad. In 2004, the ad was inspired by then President Bush and a photo of a girl who lost her mother on 9/11. It doesn’t sound expensive, but running the ad for weeks on cable stations in nine key states cost the Progress for America Voter Fund an estimated $14.2 million.
- Aviva Insurance
Never heard of it? Then their $13.4 million ad didn’t work. The huge price came with all the stars that were featured in the 2009 ad, including Bruce Willis Elle Macpherson, Alice Cooper, and Ringo Starr. Along with Aviva Insurance, they all changed their names and found success, which is the driving force behind the ad. You can view it with a visit here.
- Chrysler Comeback
If you have $9 million to spend on a single ad, are you really in need of a comeback? That was the question people were asking of Detroit centered and bailout receiving Chrysler, which used rapper Eminem to help promote the vehicle. Considering that it placed 44th in favorite TV ads, and way behind the Darth Vader Volkswagen, the outcome didn’t seem worth the price, as with most overly expensive ads.
It might seem that Super Bowl ads get bigger and bigger each year, but the truth is that until the above, the most expensive ad was done by Pepsi during the 2002 Super Bowl. The TV ad was well discussed, featured Britney Spears, and just might have been worth its $7.53 million price tag.
Constantly praised as one of the most affordable cars in the world, they are the producers of one of the most expensive TV ads of all time. In this amazing ad, all the components of a Honda are used to create a domino effect of everything “just coming together.” The cost for the show-off? Only $6.5 million.
In a saner move, this maker of cars actually makes vehicles that range into the six and even seven figure mark, which can be used to justify an expensive ad. For its anniversary, the makers of Ferrari used both old and new cars, as well as some notable roadways, to create this expensive, yet inspiring commercial. The price tag for the ad was $3.9 million, which is no doubt less than the sticker price of the combined cars.
- Go Daddy
An internet company advertising on television? Monster.com proved it can harness the power of television to get people on their computers. GoDaddy hoped to do the same with their $2.4 million commercial during the Super Bowl to direct people to the domain hosting giant. Apryl Duncan of About.com has more on the high cost of ads and loads more on the business.
- Carlton Beer
This expensive television commercial was for an Australian beer. It actually makes fun of expensive television ads. However, the cost of the commercial was never shared, but they were reported to sell an extra 36 million beers. If each bottle cost only a dollar, then the ad would have had to cost $36 million to break even.
- Most Expensive Spot
And the above is just the cost of making a television ad, not running it. Advertisers have to pay a fee to whichever show they are showing their commercial on. No matter what the cost of making your commercial, the most expensive air time continues to be the Super Bowl. While an ad for the first one cost a mere $40,000, a standard ad for Super Bowl XLII cost $2.7 million.
And with prices rising as well as expectations, the above 10 most expensive TV ads of all time are sure to be just the beginning. However, with the internet providing a newer way to see everything, the future of advertising is also growing at an astronomical speed.