Before I start this blog, I want to make it clear that most of this information is not readily available. As I tweeted last night during the Super Bowl, I would like to see a comprehensive list of how much money was paid to each celebrity who appeared in a Super Bowl commercial. But then a few people told me snarkily, “That’s what we call a blog topic.”
No shit, that would be a great blog. This list would provide great numbers. That's why I asked the question. Everyone wants to know that. Unfortunately, not all information is public. I found a few examples from certain commercials in recent years, but the actual dollar amount the actors earned per commercial is not readily available. At least as far as I can tell. If I'm wrong please let me know. But from the information I found on the Internet, we can get an idea of how much celebrities are paid for work that, in my opinion, is worth significantly less than a week's work. In some cases probably less than a day.
First, I found out how much some actors have been paid for Super Bowl commercials in the past.
CNN – Larry David was paid $10 million to appear in a Super Bowl ad for FTX in 2022, a source told CNN, before the cryptocurrency company's collapse and the conviction of its founder Sam Bankman-Fried on fraud charges.
That's a pretty fun $10 million for Larry David to make. We all know what happened to FTX. Some crypto asshole named Sam Bankman-Fried made an unlimited amount of money by getting into crypto before anyone else. He then threw gigantic sums of money at the most famous people in the world to appear in his commercials. He had Larry David, Tom Brady and Steph Curry promote FTX. In the end, his whole company was nonsense. These guys have even been named in some lawsuits. Tom Brady reportedly lost $30 million from crypto investments alone. However, he was reportedly paid $55 million for his commercial appearance, so he still earned a whopping $25 million from his entire FTX experience. Steph Curry received $35 million. But I HAVE to imagine that this is very high. When you are a company as shady as FTX, you have to invest an insane amount to get this kind of talent. Money was printed back then. I don't think normal, reputable companies hand out something like that. FTX seems to be a bit of an anomaly.
Take a normal company for example. Consider Ben Affleck's Dunkin Donuts commercial from last year.
CNN – Last year's Super Bowl ad for Dunkin', which also starred Affleck, helped sell more donuts the following day “than any other day in its history,” a person close to the campaign said close, told CNN last week. Affleck was paid nearly $10 million for the Dunkin' commercial last year, according to three sources with knowledge of the partnership.
That was also the commercial from last year. This year, Dunkin' Donuts added even more star power. Tom Brady was brought in again along with Affleck and Matt Damon.
So I'm guessing they took in about $10 million each this year too.
Beyonce's salary for her Verizon commercial this year was actually available. She was reportedly paid $30 million for 60 seconds of airtime. Which I guess makes sense considering Beyoncé rarely appears in anything. On the other hand, her commercial also served as an advertisement for her new album. Getting paid $30 million to promote your own shit seems like a fucking bullshit to me.
But this is also very much in the upper price segment
“For someone to do a cameo who isn't a megastar, it can cost as little as $25,000 but as much as $10 million. “It depends on the brand and the celebrity’s stature,” says Tim Curtis, partner in brand partnerships at Hollywood talent agency WME. “The majority of bigger stars are typically in the $1 million to $3 million range for the Super Bowl, but there are exceptions that go beyond that. It's rare that someone you think is a real movie star makes less than a million.”
Most Super Bowl shoots typically last one to two days, the agent added.
At least two major Hollywood stars received more than $5 million this year for appearing in commercials in which they appear on camera for less than 20 seconds, sources tell CNN.
So I think it's safe to say that actors like Jeff Goldblum, who have never said no to anything in their life, are more in the $1 million range
When you see actors like Zach Braff and Jason Momoa, I think somewhere in the $1 million to $5 million range is a safe bet.
In case this hasn't been made completely clear, I don't have all the information necessary to write this blog. There are only a handful of celebrity Super Bowl commercial payouts available. But I like to think about how much these people clean up for so little work. It's hard to imagine that these commercials will ultimately pay for themselves, but I have to assume they do. These commercials must have value since they are such a big deal every year.
Commercials alone cost $7 million for 30 seconds. It's always funny to me how much money these companies put into production. Especially when you see someone like Kanye West invest ZERO production costs and end up with, in my opinion, one of the better Super Bowls commercials this year.
The whole phenomenon behind the Super Bowl commercials is crazy. Especially considering that most people will say they don't care about the advertising at all. Super Bowl advertising is deeply embedded in our culture. They will never stop.
One final thought: How much do you think Jesus paid people for the foot-washing commercial?
I wonder if these actors were volunteers. I can imagine Jesus sitting them down in a church room and telling them that spreading the good news is more important than money. I can not confirm. I would like to believe that Jesus paid them generously. But I would be stupid if I wasn't skeptical of the church.