Advertisers slashed spending on X by more than 55% ahead of this year's Super Bowl
In preparation for the Super Bowl, New York City is turning sections of Times Square and Broadway into "Super Bowl Boulevard."Andrew Burton via Getty Images
Top advertisers including NFL Enterprises, McDonald's, and YouTube, spent $48.4 million on X ads in 2022 — last year, t...

Advertisers slashed spending on X by more than 55% ahead of this year's Super Bowl

Top advertisers including NFL Enterprises, McDonald's, and YouTube, spent $48.4 million on X ads in 2022 — last year, t...
  • The Super Bowl rakes in millions of dollars each year from brands promoting their products.
  • Major advertisers have historically spent big bucks on X, formerly Twitter, ahead of the big game.

Super Bowl Sunday is the one day of the year that everyone cares about advertisements, with major brands creating a $1 billion economy around promoting their products to the massive audience tuning in to the big game.

Historically, those brands have also bet on social media sites, including X, formerly Twitter, and Facebook, to reach an even wider audience.

Last year, Adweek reported, major advertisers started shifting their Super Bowl strategy away from the X platform in favor of sites like TikTok and Reddit.

According to a new report from MediaRadar, an advertising intelligence and sales enablement platform, that trend has continued in a big way this year.

MediaRadar's latest report found that major brands — including NFL Enterprises, McDonald's, YouTube, and Oreo, spent $48.4 million in advertising on X ahead of last year's Super Bowl, a 16% increase from 2022.

According to MediaRadar's analysis of this year, the same advertisers slashed spending ahead of Super Bowl LVIII on the platform by 55%, to $21.1 million.

MediaRadar found BetMGM contributed notably to the decline with an 87% reduction in spending on X during 2023 — though the gambling platform did recently ink a partnership deal with the social media platform to prominently display sports betting stats on X, likely contributing to the brand's decreased need for advertising.

The report found that despite the cuts, BetMGM, alongside Oreo, remained among the top spenders for the upcoming Super Bowl.

X's advertising exodus comes for the Super Bowl

On X, per AdAge magazine, the cost to create a promoted trending topic is $700,000 during the Super Bowl. While the expense is a far cry from the prices for a 30-second ad played during the game — which cost between $6.5 to $7 million, CNN reported — broadcast slots have been long sold out ahead of this year's game featuring the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the San Francisco 49ers.

But even the relative savings aren't enough to keep brands engaged on X, as advertisers have left the site since Elon Musk's takeover following his gutting of the safety team on the site and a report that ads were being displayed next to pro-Nazi posts and Musk himself doubling down on comments criticized as being antisemitic.

"Large brands are increasingly withdrawing from X due to brand safety concerns," Todd Krizelman, CEO and cofounder of MediaRadar, said in a statement regarding the company's findings. "Musk has also shared plans to focus on smaller advertisers. This contrasts with the Super Bowl's high-priced spot rate."

According to Insider Intelligence, ad spending on X brought in an estimated $1.89 billion in revenue in the US last year, representing a 54% drop from 2022. The most prominent advertisers that are still on the platform are increasingly promoting AI "undressing" apps and dubious crypto services, Business Insider previously reported.

Jeff MacDonald, the social strategy director at the ad agency Mekanism, previously told BI that questionable ads winning such prominent space on X is "proof that the large advertisers are gone."

"It also shows the race to the bottom that the X platform has fallen into," he added.

Representatives for X did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.