Liquor is enjoying quite the post-recession renaissance here in the U.S.
The U.S. Distilled Sprits Council says sales increased 4% to nearly $20 billion in 2011, with sales by volume increasing by 2.7% in that same span. That puts both figures at pre-crisis levels and leaves companies such as
flush with cash to spare.
Not that Super Bowl broadcasters will let them spend it. While liquor ads have found a happy home on cable, they're still restricted to late-night on broadcast networks and only during shows such as ABC's
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
, for which 72% of the audience or more is at least 21 years old. While the Super Bowl can run fairly late on the East Coast, the networks' 11 p.m. cutoff is still a stretch for liquor companies. They aren't likely to cough up $4 million for ads that may or may not air.
According to Kantar, Liquor companies spent $114 million on television ads in 2011. That's some serious expendable income, but just a shot compared with the $922 million beer companies poured into TV ads that year. With one Super Bowl ad equalling roughly 3.5% of the liquor industry's TV ad spending for the entire year, don't expect sprits companies to get in the game anytime soon.