Top 10 Costliest Advertisements Ever Made

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Everyone knows the importance of advertisements when it comes to marketing of a product or service because of its various benefits such as wide reach, effective communication etc. When a commercial is created, it has to meet certain objectives and aims by the marketer or advertiser. The cost of a commercial doesn’t just involve production costs but running and other costs too. They are required to pay a certain fee depending on medium, timings etc. Moreover it is a known fact that the slots during Super bowl commercials are the most expensive. It is said that it costs around $2.7 million to get your ad telecasted during the Super bowl games. With increasing costs and competition, the advertisements are always one step ahead of the other in order to stand out from the clutter. Whether or not all these expensive adverts gave back more than what was invested, is still not determined. Here are the top 10 costliest advertisement campaigns in the history of commercials.


10) website commercial – Budget not available


The website came out with a commercial called “when I grow up” in the year 1999 and it was this website’s first attempt at promoting itself during the Super Bowl ad slots which became a hit with the audience. This portrayed children’s dreams and ambitions of what they want to be when they grow up and communicating the fact that there are better jobs available in the market out there. The surge in various websites on the Internet during the 90’s led to lots of marketing from their side. Although it might not have been an less expensive production process; its long running time and placement between the Super bowl games.

9) Adidas – Budget not Available


Filled with some of the most popular celebrities from the film, music and sport industry, this commercial enabled people to see big names like Russell Simmons, Estelle, David Beckham, Katy Perry, Young Jeezy and Missy Elliot in one single advert. The campaign was named “All in” – which was also its tagline and aimed to achieve an ambitious rate of 50% sales growth. The major target group who they wanted to create a connection with through this ad was actually passionate sporty teens. Aiming to extend their product line in every sport, Adidas wanted to develop close connections with each consumer. It won multiple awards for their visual effects present in the commercial. Although the stars stole the spotlight and there was no Adidas product in focus, The Company’s logo and its signature stripes makes its presence felt in this 60 second spot.

8) Honda – $6.5 million campaign


This 6.5 million advertisement which was telecasted in the year 2009 was among the most expensive adverts in the history of commercials. Although it adopted the similar mechanism of a “domino effect” as the Guinness Beer commercials, it failed to garner the same results as the latter. It used its commodity i.e. the Honda car only at the end of the show. It took a staggering 606 takes and retakes over 2 continuous shoots in order to shoot this commercial because no studio was big enough to handle the entire commercial in a single shot. This 90 second ad cost around 6.2 million dollars and the agency responsible for this creation of this ad was recognized and awarded at several ceremonies. The ad ends with a tagline that states “Isn’t it nice when things just work?”

7) Pepsi- $7.53 million campaign


This 2002 advert of Pepsi showcased during the Super bowl had Britney Spears taking you on a time machine with Pepsi from 1958, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1989 and finally the current age. This 90 second advertisement commercial which costed around 7.53 million dollars manages to exemplify and highlight the ever-changing definitions of what was popular during the past decades and Britney Spears was the perfect icon to choose because of her iconic status at that time.

6) Chrysler – $9million campaign


This 2011 Super bowl ad starring the famous rapper Eminem shows visuals of a barren and empty looking Detroit against the luxurious interiors and exterior of the Chrysler car. Costing $9 million, the rappers tune “Lose Yourself” plays in the background of the commercial which ends with a tagline saying “Imported from Detroit.” The whole point of this ad is to position Chrysler as an ultimate classy and  luxurious brand which it was finding difficult to do because the Chrysler 300 was built in Brampton situated in Ontario. Though it was not really far from Detroit, it felt that it was practically impossible to launch this new brand idea to the typical American  Super Bowl audience when the car was manufactured somewhere in Canada.The ad was not as serious as it seemed and would be highly juxtaposed against the really  earnest message which was the undertone of this ad. In the first hours after it was telecasted this advertisement for the new “Chrysler 200″ was the second most searched term on Google.

5) Carlton draught beer- $9million campaign


This funny, outrageous and highly sarcastic advertisement has people singing “It’s a big ad, expensive ad, this ad better sell some bloody beer.” While making fun of other expensive television ads, it shows people forming human structures of beer and a person drinking it. This 9$ million ad was filmed in Queenstown, New Zealand by director Paul Middleditch, who is already well known for his Hahn Beer commercials and was awarded for the funniest TV commercial in the 2003 Australian comedy awards. Although it seemed like there were more than 3000 people in the advert, only 300 actors were used and digitally replicated. This video went viral across all forms of social media platforms and managed to garner around half a million views before it was actually aired on television.

4) Aviva Life Insurance-$13.4 million campaign


This popular British insurance company which was previously known as Norwich Union released this ad in the year 2008 in order to announce its new name to the public. Starring Bruce Willis, Dame Edna, Ringo Starr, Elle Macpherson and Alice Cooper who have all changed their names after becoming stars and turned out to be successful after this change, which is the core message of this $13.4 million advertisement campaign.

3) President George W. Bush’s -$14.2 million electoral campaign

George W. Bush

George Bush holds the record because his campaign proved to be one of the most expensive political television ads. In 2004, this advertisement was inspired by President Bush and a small girl who had lost her mother on the tragic day of 9/11. Although the production cost might not have been as expensive as the other ads on this list , running the ad for several weeks on cable stations across nine prominent states costed  the “Progress for America Voter Fund“ a whopping amount of $14.2 million. This multimillion dollar ad campaign was created and released only because the president’s job approval rating was deteriorating with time and he lagged slightly behind in polls when compared to Sen. John F. Kerry. Although these ads struck a positive chord, the use of 9/ 11 imagery and reference might have caused some controversy amongst the people.


2) Guinness beer -$13.4 million campaign


The 13.4 million domino advertisement called “Tipping Point” has been one of the most popular ads that hasn’t used special effects and used the concept of falling dominoes with real life objects. The 1: 34 seconds ad shows almost 6000 objects falling on each other continuously as a chain action. It ends with the formation of a beer glass and tagline saying “Good things come to an end”. You wouldn’t want to get your eyes off this ad from the start to the end. It was created by ad agency AMV BBDO and took almost 600 cuts before the final advertisement was made

1) Chanel 5 -$33million campaign


This 4 minute ad for the signature Chanel 5 perfume was directed by Baz Lurhrmann in the year 2004. He  was also known for being the director of the famous movie – “Moulin  Rouge “It features Nicole Kidman who was also in his movie and even the screenplay and visuals of the ad resembles the movie. This 2 minute ad was made in Australia and costed an approximate $33 million. The ad shows Nicole Kidman running in the middle of the streets to get a cab and reach the man who doesn’t know about her celebrity status. After a secret affair with him, she retreats to her glamorous life of showbiz. The paparazzi is constantly clicking pictures as she walks up stairs, gazes at life-size letters at the top of a building which spells out COCO CHANEL with the love of her life standing beside it. They exchange smiles and the camera zooms in to credits. The production cost was extremely high reason being the fact that Nicole Kidman was paid a whopping $5,000,000 for her tedious four days of shooting.



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