PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Why does it seem as if every big brand gets a Super Bowl ad except those that need one the most?
Super Bowl XLVIII broadcaster Fox has sold out its inventory of commercial time for about $4 million per 30-second spot. Perennial NFL sponsors such as General Motors, Anheuser-Busch InBev and halftime-show patron Pepsi buying up huge blocks and mainstays such as GoDaddy and Coca-Cola also eating up ad time.
The space for newcomers is shrinking, however, as commercials get longer and prices rise. The amount of Super Bowl commercial time has decreased from 83 ads at 40 minutes, 35 seconds in 2003 to 78 ads at 47 minutes, 25 seconds in 2012 after peaking at 104 spots at 47 minutes, 50 seconds in 2010, according to Kantar Media. The 2012 commercial space also featured 15 ads of 60 seconds or more, which took up about 20% of all ad time and made things a lot more expensive for newcomers looking to stake their claim. Still, first-timers expanded from four companies and 14% of Super Bowl commercial buyers in 2011 to 10 that made up 30% of big game ad sales last year.
Super Bowl newbies tend to have a whole lot more riding on these spots than the regulars do, though. The fresh faces tend to be among the 15% of Super Bowl ad buyers in the past decade that dedicated more than 10% of their annual advertising budget to spots aired during the game. The 30% of advertisers that wagered a big chunk of their media budget on Super Bowl commercials in 2010 and 2011 took a huge leap, but made it count.
Jaguar is among the new arrivals to this year's Super Bowl party, but they should have far more company. Given what a tough year some companies have had, we took a look around and found five that could use a Super Bowl-sized boost in business. Whether it's just been a slow season or a continued slide into irrelevance, we think a well-placed Super Bowl ad could be a great reminder of what these companies do right and what the U.S. consumer is missing: