Written by Rebecca Lipman

Thirty-second advertisement spots for this year's Super Bowl range between $3.5 million and $4 million, up from $3.1 million in 2011. The stakes are high, so advertisers are bringing their A-game.

"Clearly, almost no brand targets all of the 160 million people watching," says Kirk Wakefield, a professor at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business to The Huffington Post. "But it better be a substantial amount of that 160 million. "

Never mind that growing research shows the millions advertisers pay usually aren't worth the cost. CNBC says the game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots is expected to be the most-watched event of the year, and the 2012 edition may provide more than the usual bang for the buck.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in market cap over the last two years for the stocks mentioned below.



Business Section: Investing Idea
So we were curious, which companies are the biggest ad spenders on the super bowl over the last decade?

Fortunately, CNBC was curious too. Here are the publicly traded companies that make up their list of top spenders: (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD): Engages in brewing and selling beer in North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Market cap of $98.15B. Total ad spending (2002-11): $239.1 million. "The beer titan and its parent, inBev, have purchased more Super Bowl ads than any other company. In addition to Bud & Bud Light, the import brand Stella Artois made it on the air last year. AB virtually owns the Super Bowl; competitors haven't even tried to advertise. Bud Light has a massive lead as the best-selling beer in America, but Budweiser just slipped to No. 3 behind Coors Light."

2. Pepsico, Inc. (NYSE: PEP): Engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages worldwide. Market cap of $102.26B. Total ad spending (2002-11): $174 million. "PepsiCo has spent more than double what Coca-Cola has on Super Bowl ads in the last decade, but remember that the company also has a huge snack business. Its brand of choice for Super Bowl ads in recent years has been Doritos. (The company has also done well by having viewers submit hilarious ads."

3. General Motors Company (NYSE: GM): Operates as a global automaker. Market cap of $37.91B. Total ad spending (2002-11): $82.8 million. "Times have sometimes been tough in the car business in the past four decades, but General Motors spends far more than its competitors on Super Bowl ads. Most recently, GM didn't buy ad time in 2009 or 2010, after saying the timing was wrong (it was in the midst of a federal bailout and a corporate bankruptcy). But it came back in 2011. Spending big doesn't always work out, as GM was overshadowed by its competitors."

4. Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS): Operates as an entertainment company worldwide. Market cap of $69.78B. Total ad spending (2002-11): $73.9 million. "You probably don't remember any ad except "I'm going to Disney," which takes place after the game. That's because Disney believes that advertising its movies during the Super Bowl, when a third of America is watching, is worth the money. In 2011, Disney's movie of choice to promote was "Pirates of the Caribbean."

5. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO): Distributes, and markets nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. Market cap of $153.22B. Total ad spending (2002-11): $66.8 million. "Coke loves to use Santa and polar bears, and the company will use the white, furry critters again this year. The brand is most memorable for its Mean Joe Greene spot in 1980, which the company spoofed with Troy Polamalu for Coke Zero in 2009. From 2000-2011, Coca-Cola only had ads in five Super Bowls. Over the past 10 years, Coke has used Stewie from "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons."

6. Viacom, Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAB): Operates as an entertainment content company in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $26.45B. Total ad spending (2002-11): $45.9 million. "Just like Time Warner (Warner Bros.) has used the Super Bowl for movie ads, so, too, has Viacom for its Paramount Pictures. While the standard trailers are usually featured, the company goes big during the Super Bowl. Last year, Paramount promoted five films including "Captain America," "Rango," "Super 8," "Thor" and "Transformers." How does parent company Viacom afford all these ads? Well, these five movies earned a combined $958 million, according to Box Office Mojo."

7. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA): Provides entertainment, information, and communications products and services in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $71.83B. Total ad spending (2002-11): $40.3 million. "This may be the first surprise on the list because fans wouldn't immediately recognize the parent company of NBC Universal and CNBC as a Super Bowl advertiser. This is the first Super Bowl broadcast on NBC under Comcast's watch, but the company has purchased ads in seven of the last 10 Super Bowls."

8. Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX): Operates as a media and entertainment company in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $37.46B. Total ad spending (2002-11): $39.2 Million. "In eight of the last 10 years, Warner Bros. has used the Super Bowl to advertise its movies, sometimes buying two spots in a game. Movies advertised during the game include "Batman Begins," "Starsky & Hutch," Poseidon," and "Austin Powers in Goldmember." Like most Super Bowl ads, there's no correlation between ad spending and box office success.

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Disclosure: Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above.

Related Articles
  1. Investing News

    What You Can Learn from Carl Icahn's Mistakes

    Carl Icahn has been a stellar performer in the investment world for decades, but following his lead these days could be dangerous.
  2. Investing News

    Super Savings for Your Super Bowl Party? Bet on It

    Prices for wings, avocados and TVs are all coming down, which will make your Super Bowl 50 festivities less costly.
  3. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Altria's Return on Equity (ROE) (MO)

    Learn about Altria Group's return on equity (ROE) and analyze net profit margin, asset turnover and financial leverage to determine what is causing its high ROE.
  4. Investing News

    Icahn's Bet on Cheniere Energy: Should You Follow?

    Investing legend Carl Icahn continues to lose money on Cheniere Energy, but he's increasing his stake. Should you follow his lead?
  5. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Google's Return on Equity (ROE) (GOOGL)

    Learn about Alphabet's return on equity. How has its ROE changed over time, how does it compare to its peers and what factors are driving ROE for the company?
  6. Investing News

    Is Buffett's Bet on Oil Right for You? (XOM, PSX)

    Oil stocks are getting trounced, but Warren Buffett still likes one of them. Should you follow the leader?
  7. Investing News

    Chipotle Served with Criminal Probe

    Chipotle's beat muted expectations and got a clear bill from the CDC, but it now appears that an investigation into its E.coli breakout has expanded.
  8. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Sprint Corp's Return on Equity (ROE) (S)

    Learn about Sprint's return on equity. Find out why its ROE is negative and how asset turnover and financial leverage impact ROE relative to Sprint's peers.
  9. Stock Analysis

    Why Alphabet is the Best of the 'FANGs' for 2016

    Alphabet just impressed the street, but is it the best FANG stock?
  10. Investing News

    A 2016 Outlook: What January 2009 Can Teach Us

    January 2009 and January 2016 were similar from an investment standpoint, but from a forward-looking perspective, they were very different.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>
COMPANIES IN THIS ARTICLE
Trading Center