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Finance & Investment
$7M:
How the Cost of a Super Bowl Ad Could Transform Lives

We challenge all of these advertisers to skim the nonprofits below and think about diverting even $1M of their game-time spend to instead address urgent social issues.

Seven million dollars can do a world of good, especially when those funds are put to work by nonprofit organizations. The same amount of money can also put a talking cat or a low-carb beer in front of hundreds of millions of viewers in between touchdowns — for just 30 seconds. While some of these ads will break through and become hot topics on social media, most will ultimately be forgotten. Imagine if those brands did something more impactful — like applying their dollars and creativity to a social issue that’s aligned with their brand. Or what if they developed a sustained initiative to make a transformative difference for nonprofit organizations and their beneficiaries?

Surprisingly, inflation didn’t touch the cost of Super Bowl airtime this year. A 30-second slot will cost advertisers the same as last year: $7 million, or $233,333 per second. (That’s 200 percent more than the same advertising spot cost 20 years ago, and a staggering 16,371 percent increase since the big game’s inception in 1967.) After factoring in creative, production and talent costs, the total tab can rise to $10 million or more. Some brands are even capturing the Super Bowl “buzz” without investing in actual airtime, reports Digiday — but are also spending millions of dollars to do so.

We challenge all these advertisers — whether they invest in primetime, digital, IRL or social visibility — to skim the nonprofits below and think about diverting even a million dollars of their gametime spend to address urgent social issues. (As a stark example, less than half of what the US public is expected to bet on the Super Bowl this year — $23.1 billion — would fully fund the hunger-related appeals of the 17 countries covered in Action Against Hunger’s 2024 Hunger Funding Gap Report!)

This year, we asked some of our favorite and most respected nonprofit organizations what they could do with the transformative power of $7 million. Here’s what they shared.

  • Action Against Hunger could treat more than 46,600 children facing life-threatening malnutrition.

  • ALS Association could advance two-to-three new treatments into clinical trials to provide hope for a fatal disease with no cure, as well as developing four-to-five new ALS clinics to treat people living with ALS.

  • American Heart Association could fund more than 200 scholarships to advance research and healthcare careers for diverse students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and at Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

  • American Lung Association could provide Courage Kits and one-on-one mentorship to 70,000 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients through its LUNG FORCE initiative.

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America could match more than 4,600 at-risk youth with a reliable mentor or positive role model.

  • Empower the People could help close the civic-opportunity gap for 700 youth face-to-face, and 60,000 students virtually each year, for 94 years.

  • Feeding America and No Kid Hungry could provide 70 million meals to those experiencing food insecurity through their food bank network. (PS: Don’t miss the Feeding America appearance in Hellmann’s "Mayo Cat" ad — a contender for one of the year’s most memorable spots.)

  • Green Bronx Machine could deliver 1,000 K-12+ indoor gardening programs, enabling students to grow, eat and love their vegetables, reaching 1 million students and 85,000 teachers.

  • Habitat for Humanity could upgrade 1,166 homes with energy-efficiency grants or add solar panel solutions to 350 homes.

  • Planned Parenthood could more than double its research capacity — accelerating efforts to break down barriers to increase access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.

  • RAIIN could educate 4.2 billion people about preventing sexual violence.

  • Save the Children could educate 400,000 children in the US living in poverty.

  • Shatterproof could expand the Shatterproof Treatment Atlas across the United States to guide 49 million people struggling with substance-use disorder to the right type of quality addiction treatment or expand work to reduce addiction stigma across the US — especially with healthcare professionals.

  • Soles 4 Souls could give new sneakers to 350,000 kids experiencing homelessness.

  • USO could help around 280,000 service members transition into civilian communities each year.

What could your organization achieve — or help your nonprofit partners achieve — with $7 million? We’d love to hear. Share your ideas with us on LinkedIn.

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