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$11,000 Super Bowl ad might still be bad buy

FARGO -- Commercials during the Super Bowl are as much a reason to watch as the game itself for many.

And they certainly don't come cheap. This year, with 111 million people expected to watch the game, a 30-second national spot costs around $3.5 million.

Locally, the slots cost just a little bit less.

Jim Wareham, head of NBC-affiliate KVLY in Fargo, said a typical 30-second local spot during the game costs about $11,000, which is the highest rate for the entire year. The most expensive slot, around kickoff, is $18,000, he said.

Wareham estimated local ad spots make up about 6 or 7 percent of commercials seen during the game.

Even though local advertisers can expect significant ratings for a Super Bowl commercial and that might help make them effective, the high cost isn't necessarily worth it, said Kim Simonsen, director of media services for the H2M ad agency in Fargo.

The concern is how the local ads will compare with the splashy national spots.

Simonsen said they risk being overshadowed by the high production values of the national commercials.

"The problem you have is, will you be able to stand out?" Simonsen said.

Instead of buying ads during the game itself, Simonsen said some local advertisers have started looking at more affordable slots during the pregame show, which starts at noon.

"It's maybe not as many ratings, but it could be more cost-efficient," he said.

Sam Benshoof is a reporter

at The Forum of Fargo-

Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.