TV advertising isn’t exactly cheap and while we dispelled the myth that a successful ad has to cost millions in our recent How Expensive is TV Advertising article, there are plenty of brands who have spent eye-watering sums to achieve their aims.
We’ll take a look at some of the most expensive TV adverts ever in this article but we’ll also try and explore whether or not they were successful in achieving their aims.
Carlton Draught- $9 million (2008)
While Carlton Draught is only the sixth most expensive ad ever made, I thought I’d add it to this list as a bit of fun and thanks to the fact it generated great results.
Indeed, despite costing $9 million, the Carlton Draught ad allegedly generated $36 million in sales for the beer company.
It’s amazing to think that the advert was such a shrewd business move given its content, which while fun is rather ridiculous too.
In the ad, hundreds of skydivers emerging from a giant pint of Carlton Draught before landing safely in a football stadium. The pint then causes carnage by landing in a nearby town, destroying houses as it goes. I think it’s best if you just watch this one…
George W. Bush’s Presidential Campaign TV Advert- $14.2 million (2004)
It may not surprise you that George Bush required a rather hefty advertising campaign to help him into the Oval Office, but the Republican party really pulled out all the stops by spending a whopping $14.2 million on the single advert.
That figure may pale in comparison to the $2.6 billion spent on the 2012 presidential race but, despite the growth in campaign spending, the cost of this advert remains the most spent by any candidate on a TV advertisement.
The reason it cost so much? Because the ad played for such a long period of time and across so many US states.
But who are we to argue? It had the desired effect, with George ascending to the White House.
Guinness- $16 million (2007)
Moving back to beer and safer ground, Guinness celebrated their 80th birthday in style with an estimated $16 million spend on a TV advert.
That figure is slightly surprising when you appreciate that this advert doesn’t contain any celebrity endorsers. What it does include, however, is a rather precarious domino system of items through an Argentinean village leading up to a pint of Guinness made up of books.
It hurts just trying to work out how many takes it would have required.
Chanel No.5- $33 Million (2004)
An advert which, rather unsurprisingly given the cost, did utilise a celebrity endorser was Chanel’s 2004 advertisement.
Taking four days to film, Chanel paid Nicole Kidman a smooth $3 million for participating. With a cinematic like quality to the advert, Chanel was onto a winner despite the huge financial commitment as sales of Chanel No.5 dramatically increased following the advert airing.
So there you have it, four of the most expensive TV ads of all time. It seems despite spending more than the average TV advertising still managed to produce an incredibly positive ROI for these brands.
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