Super Bowl commercials are nearly as anticipated as the game, and local companies grabbing some of that attention Sunday included Royal Farms and Union Memorial Hospital.

Advertisers know the Super Bowl is one of the best-watched programs of the year — and they're willing to pay for the opportunity, as much as $4 million this year for a 30-second spot.


For area advertisers, it's arguably an even better opportunity when the local team is playing.

"It's a chance to reach well over a million of their clients or customers," says Jay Newman, president of WJZ. "There's no event that will air on television that will come close to the numbers the Super Bowl will reach."

Newman said most of the local Super Bowl ad slots sold out as soon as the Ravens beat the Patriots. He declined to say how much local ad time cost — or how many ads were sold — just that the rates were a record high for the station.

"The vast majority of spots were sold out within 72 hours," he said.

National advertisers snapped up all of the ad positions during the coveted first half of the game. Doritos. Coke. Toyota. Budweiser. The ones with big stars and cute animals that everyone will be talking about on Monday.

Local advertisers went with ads that featured Ravens players like Haloti Ngata's plug for Royal Farms fried chicken. Ngata pushed that chicken hard — twice during halftime alone.

During halftime there were also commercials for Peter T. Nicholl law offices and Union Memorial Hospital sports medicine offices. Later in the game ads included M&T Bank, the Creig Northrop Team from Long & Foster and a Tide commercial customized to mention the Ravens.

And though they might have appeared in slightly less prominent positions, those local buyers will be seen, Newman says.

The AFC Championship peaked at 1.2 million viewers in the Baltimore market, and Newman expected even more eyes on the Super Bowl.

"We expect this to be the highest viewership certainly in decades if not in the station's history," he said.

And not merely for the game. Newman said WJZ would see an ad bump pretty much all day — from the pre-game shows that started as early as 8 a.m. to the post-game show and then the late local newscast, all times where the local ads were running.

"People are setting in," he said. "It's a day-long event, and they stay well into the night."