New England Patriots fans erupt as the Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson’s pass is intercepted at the goal line to ensure the victory for the New England Patriots in Super W 49.

Bob Berg | Moment Mobile | Getty Images

In a fragmented media landscape, events like the Super Bowl are prized by advertisers for the exposure they offer.

More than 100 million people are expected to tune in this Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Many watching the game will be just as attentive to the commercials as they are to the action on the field. These commercials are an institution in and of themselves, with the ads generating conversation for weeks ahead and days after the big game. Consumers might recall well-crafted Super Bowl ads years after their debut.

But capturing those eyeballs comes at a steep cost. This year, companies are paying about $7 million for a 30-second spot — and that’s just for the air time. Add on top of that the cost of hiring the talent needed to produce the ad, and the costs spiral even higher.

Advertisers come and go

The value of that spending can be fiercely debated. For companies that sell beer, chips or cars, the game is often an annual ritual. But other advertisers might come and go.

This certainly is true for the cryptocurrency companies that bought up airtime last year. Crypto exchange FTX had received accolades for its ad, which starred comedian Larry David as a time-traveling skeptic, pooh-poohing inventions from the wheel to the lightbulb. The commercial encouraged viewers not to doubt cryptocurrency. “Don’t be like Larry,” it said.

Months later, it seems some skepticism was warranted. FTX, now bankrupt, has collapsed in a scandal that is being investigated by federal prosecutors.

So does Super Bowl exposure truly help boost business? Going by the companies’ share prices, most didn’t have a great 2022.

Take Coinbase, another cryptocurrency exchange. Its bouncing QR-code commercial was hailed as wildly successful last year. It drove so many viewers to Coinbase’s app that it crashed on the night of the Super Bowl.

Coinbase’s stock is down 64% since that evening. And the company said it won’t be back for this year’s game.

The Super Bowl ad curse

Symbol Name Sector/Industry Market Value Price change since 14/2/2022 $ lost/made if invested $10,000
CVNA Carvana, Class A Consumer Cyclicals 2,645.8 -90.0 -9,000.0
VRM Vroom Consumer Cyclicals 163.0 -82.9 -8,290.0
COIN Coinbase Global, Class A Finance 15,760.5 -64.4 -6,440.0
AMCX AMC Networks, Class A Consumer Services 775.4 -57.4 -5,740.0
FVRR Fiverr International Technology 1,599.6 -47.6 -4,760.0
EXPE Expedia Group Consumer Services 18,598.2 -39.6 -3,960.0
MNDY Technology 6,423.8 -37.1 -3,710.0
PARA Paramount Global Class B Consumer Services 14,696.1 -36.0 -3,600.0
AMZN Consumer Non-Cyclicals 1,025,238.0 -35.5 -3,550.0
GOOGL Alphabet, Class A Technology 1,276,392.0 -26.7 -2,670.0
DKNG DraftKings, Class A Consumer Services 14,875.7 -20.4 -2,040.0
INTU Intuit Technology 118,477.5 -20.3 -2,030.0
CRM Salesforce Technology 169,630.0 -17.8 -1,780.0
META Meta Platforms, Class A Technology 475,590.5 -15.7 -1,570.0
GM General Motors Consumer Cyclicals 57,975.1 -14.1 -1,410.0
MSFT Microsoft Technology 1,985,486.0 -9.6 -960.0
PLNT Planet Fitness, Class A Consumer Services 7,456.9 -9.6 -960.0
NFLX Netflix Technology 163,366.5 -7.5 -750.0
BKNG Booking Holdings Consumer Services 94,067.4 -4.7 -470.0
PEP PepsiCo Consumer Non-Cyclicals 235,808.7 2.7 270.0
K Kellogg Consumer Non-Cyclicals 22,934.1 3.8 380.0
WMT Walmart Consumer Non-Cyclicals 378,145.3 4.7 470.0
YUM Yum! Brands Consumer Services 37,019.4 8.3 830.0
TMUS T-Mobile US Telecommunications 178,921.8 14.6 1,460.0
HOLX Hologic Healthcare 21,107.5 21.8 2,180.0

Source: CNBC; FactSet

Shares of online auto sellers Carvana and Vroom have fared even worse. Their stocks are down 90% and nearly 83%, respectively. Neither will advertise during the game this year.

Of course, the steep declines of some of last year’s advertisers speak to broader declines in the market in 2022, with a number of tech names on the list faring the worst.

‘Not a good look’