Why Brands Spend $5 Million (or More) on a Super Bowl Ad to Support a Cause

The approach has become a new convention

A beer brand touting its disaster relief efforts. A car brand supporting gender equality. A vacation rental company pushing for diversity. Recent years have seen a rise in the number of brands aligning themselves with causes, a trend that has found its way into advertising’s biggest night—the Super Bowl. Brands backed a cause in just 6 percent of Super Bowl ads a decade ago. Today it’s about a quarter of all spots, according to Charles Taylor, professor of marketing at the Villanova School of Business.

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This story first appeared in the Jan. 28, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.