Sunday, February 5th, 2012...3:13 pm

Costly blink

Jump to Comments

In several hours, Super Bowl XLVI will begin. Sports fans will fall silent as the Giants and Patriots meet, yet again, in the championship game. Fans and not-so-strong-fans will turn and focus on the TVs, large and small alike, as the multimillion dollar adds will also air. This year, a 30 second commercial costs 3.5 million dollars. That’s $116,666.66 a second!

That left me wondering, how much would a commercial, assuming the same pricing, lasting only the blink of an eye cost to air in the Super Bowl? According the John Brenkus’ book The Perfection Point, it takes 4 tenths of a second to blink one’s eye completely. This fact is relevant to Brenkus’ book since a 99 mph fastball reaches the batter in 395 milliseconds. As such, a baseball is invisible to the batter when it is within 15 feet of home plate. In fact, the images from the last 15 feet can’t be processed by the brain in time!

This same fact, in the context of Super Bowl ads, means that the time one blinks during a 3.5 million dollar ad is worth just under $50,000 ($46 666.66, specifically).

So, soon, we’ll see how well the agencies produced such costly ads and whether we don’t want to miss even a tenth of a second or whether we’d like to blink and stop halfway and stop watching!


Leave a Reply