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4 Super Bowl Ads That Impacted Stock Prices

Super Bowl ads are some of the most beloved - and expensive - aired on TV. But, do the famous commercials impact the stock prices of their companies?
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It's no secret - Super Bowl ads have become almost as (if not more) popular as the game itself. 

The much-coveted Super Bowl LIII ad spot cost companies a cool $5.25 million for a 30-second ad this year, according to CNBC. For a 60-second ad, brands paid $10.4 million, and for 90 seconds, a whopping $15.6 million. 

Given the astronomically high numbers, it's clear that companies are willing to shell out for the air time - but what are they getting in return? 

Researchers have long puzzled over the impact of Super Bowl commercials on the brands' stock prices the following Monday. In fact, Kenneth Kim, a finance professor and chief economist and chief financial strategist for EQIS, released a study in 2009 examining 17 years of Super Bowl commercials and the correlation between the ads and the companies' stock prices. According to Kim, there is a correlation between liked Super Bowl commercials and a spike in the company's stock price the following day - essentially claiming that stock prices might go up because people associate liking the commercial with liking the company.

"I attribute this finding to something known as the representativeness bias," Kim wrote for Forbes in 2016. "We have a tendency to assume that certain characteristics imply other characteristics, even though our perception of the link between the two characteristics may be irrational or very weak." 

And apart from getting companies extra exposure over viral tweets on Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report , it appears as though these ads may impact the companies' stock prices as well. 

But, what factors contribute to this possible connection? And which companies saw their stock pop after Super Bowl LIII in 2019? 

Do Super Bowl Ads Affect Stock Prices?

The short answer is: sort of.

Although there really isn't too much evidence to support a fundamental change in a company's fortunes following a successful Super Bowl commercial, several studies have substantiated the connection between an ad's likability with a momentary uptick in a company's stock - specifically by average or occasional investors. 

"I believe that when we (which includes people who invest) watch a Super Bowl commercial and we like it, we also end up liking the firm that aired that commercial, which consequently leads to a net buying of those firm's stocks," Kim wrote for Forbes.

However, according to marketing professors Chuck Tomkovick and Rama Yelkur at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, how the stock of a company who advertised in the Super Bowl fared has little to do with the reception of the ad - and more about the exposure. 

According to Tomkovick and Yelkur, companies that had ads air during the Super Bowl outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 1% in a 10-day trading period from the Monday before the Super Bowl to the Friday after. And, according to the professors, it had little to do with whether or not audiences liked the commercials - citing that over 15 years of Super Bowl commercial data and stock price correlations, companies still did well regardless of USA Today's ad meter judging how good the ad was or how well it was executed.

Regardless of whether or not it is due to simply being in the Super Bowl group or having an extra-likeable ad, it seems that many large companies who can afford the airtime do often enjoy a bump to their stock the following day. 

But which companies did well in 2019? 

Companies Whose Stock Prices Increased After the Super Bowl in 2019

Among the companies who saw their stock increase the day after Super Bowl Sunday are heavy-hitters Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Anheuser Busch Inbev NV (BUD) - Get Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA Sponsored ADR (Belgium) Report

But, how much did their stock increase, and why were they popular? 

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1. Pepsi

The beverage giant aired a playful Super Bowl LIII commercial that featured the likes of Steve Carrell, Cardi B and Lil Jon. The ad, titled "More Than Ok," featured the celebrities in a 1950s-themed diner that espoused the message that drinking Pepsi was more than just "ok." 

With the famous cast and Cardi B's hit "I Like It" playing in the background, the commercial seemed to be a success. Additionally, Doritos is owned by PepsiCo Inc. - whose ad also made the "best" list, featuring Chance the Rapper adding a rap into the Backstreet Boy's famous song "I Want It That Way." 

PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) - Get PepsiCo Inc. Report stock enjoyed a 0.8% increase as of market close on the Monday after the ad aired. 

2. Coca-Cola

Aimed at showcasing diversity and the universality of their product, Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company (The) Report released an ad titled "A Coke is a Coke" that featured art and animation inspired by Andy Warhol and a diverse range of cartoon characters. 

The 60-second ad (which presumably cost the company around $10.4 million for the airtime) featured drawn characters saying at the end, "Don't you see? Different is beautiful, and together is beautiful too."

The beverage company saw a 1.1% increase in their stock on Monday, closing at $49.25. 

3. Anheuser Busch Inbev NV (Bud Light and Stella Artois) 

Anheuser Busch Inbev NV - the company who owns Bud Light and Stella Artois - saw a stock increase of 0.74% following two successful Super Bowl commercials.

Bud Light partnered with HBO's "Game of Thrones" to tease its imminent release in a Westeros-style setting (which featured a knight in Bud Light gear). 

The beverage company released another commercial for Stella Artois, featuring "Sex and the City" actress Sarah Jessica Parker opting for a Stella instead of her iconic Cosmopolitan. 

4. Microsoft

Although Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report stock has had a bit of a rough time lately, the company's stock saw a 2.9% increase following their heart-warming Super Bowl commercial titled "We All Win."

The commercial, which featured interviews of several children, showcased the tech giant's new Xbox Adaptive Controller and simultaneously showed the joy the children experienced being able to play with their friends. 

Companies That Have Had Successful Super Bowl Commercials 

What companies have historically seen a positive response in the stock market to their Super Bowl commercials? 

RadioShack in 2014

Famously, struggling RadioShack stock saw an enormous 7% bump in early hours of trading following the airing of their 2014 Super Bowl commercial, titled "The '80s Called: They Want Their Store Back." 

The ad was received as being self-deprecating - in a funny way.  

"We're using the Super Bowl as the platform to get people to rethink RadioShack," RadioShack's CMO Jennifer Warren said in a statement. "This ad is meant to grab attention, make viewers laugh, and let people know, it's out with the old and in with the new RadioShack."

Nissan in 2015 

The car company's stock was up some 1.4% during the day on the Monday following their 2015 Super Bowl XLIX ad titled "With Dad" - which played on viewer's emotions by following the story of a race driver set to Harry Chapin's melancholy song "Cat's In the Cradle."

The ad was voted Favorite Super Bowl Commercial of 2015 for YouTube AdBlitz - according to Nissan.

Nissan's (NSANY) stock felt the ad's success the following Monday. 

The Bottom Line

While it may be easy to assume you as an investor would make money off of this supposed Super Bowl effect, Kim suggests that may not entirely be the case. 

"You'd have to guess, ahead of time, which firms are going to surprise everyone by airing a highly liked Super Bowl commercial, and then buy those firms' stocks before the Super Bowl," Kim wrote for Forbes. "I wouldn't try to do this. One can never tell what people are going to like. And besides, it's more fun predicting the score." 

Learn more about what the Super Bowl can teach you about your portfolio here.