The most expensive TV adverts ever made

Advertising is the art of making money. It reaches millions of people and generates millions of pounds. Thousands of companies compete with each other every day to create the most interesting, eye catching and memorable advertising to improve brand awareness, promote a new product, or introduce a new service. TV adverts have a vast audience, so it’s important to get it right. Get it wrong though, and it’s an expensive mistake. It’s no secret that TV advertising is costly, but brands are ready to spend millions if they believe it could make them even more millions in return. And I’m here to introduce you to the 5 most expensive ads ever created.




5.  Carlton Draught – $9 million (2005)

So the list starts with the Australian beer maker and its ad featuring hundreds of skydivers jumping from a plane with huge Carlton Draught. While they create shapes of different words in the sky, a huge draught of beer falls to the ground crushing two Jaguars and another car (which sounds expensive in itself) and some houses, almost killing a few people on its way. Sounds like a bizarre idea for and ad, doesn’t it? However, the commercial generated $36 million in sales which is pretty big.


4. Chrysler – $12 million (2011)

Chrysler first released this ad at the Superbowl in 2011. It featured ‘Rap God’ Eminem driving Chrysler around Detroit which is his native town and the carmaker’s headquarters. The commercial told a story of the city’s journey to‘hell and back’ as it was once one of the richest cities in the USA before unemployment rates soared and the car industry went south, only to rise again. The ad currently has more than 15 million views on YouTube and it picked up 2 million of those in the first 48 hours on the site. And even though Chrysler is a luxury brand for the more affluent consumer, the ad was very successful in promoting brand awareness.


3. Aviva Insurance – $13.4 million (2008)

In 2008 Norwich Union was in the process of re-branding itself as Aviva Insurance. As the company wasn’t quite as recognisable as the likes of Coca Cola or Apple, it needed to educate people about the change. The advert featured people like Bruce Willis, Alice Cooper, Ringo Star and others who changed their names during the course of their careers. The idea of this ad was to feature celebrities with their old selves to show what they’ve become after they changed their names. With such big names in the ad, it is no surprise that it cost $13.4 million to produce.


2. Guinness – $20 million (2007)

‘Good things come to those who wait’ is the slogan of the second most expensive ad ever created. And when watching the ad you really do wait for the end to find out what will happen. There are a lot of people shown in the commercial, in a small Argentinean village, waiting in tension for 6,000 dominoes to knock out books, tires, paint cans, cars etc through the streets until the star of the show, a pint of Guinness beer, is finally revealed. And even though there were no celebrities or special effects used in the commercial, Guinness spent $20 million to celebrate its 80th birthday by revealing this amusing ad. Most likely due to the amount of takes they’d have gone through.


1. Chanel – $33 million (2004)

The top position in the list of the most expensive commercials ever created is held by Chanel No.5. The ad, directed by Baz Lurhrmann, featured Nicole Kidman and Rodrigo Santoro and showed a beautiful love story of a young actress and a writer who met in a taxi. The sales that year had a record high, most likely because using the brand of Nicole Kidman instantly built trust with the company. Viewers know, like and trust Nicole, which might be the reason why the ad was so popular. Kidman reportedly was paid $3 million for her participation in this 2 minute ad that took four days to film.