The ratings for Victoria's Secret Fashion Show prove it. Americans love a good commercial. Be it the fantasy of affluence, the energy and urgency of product positioning or simply a need to see pretty girls in their underwear. Whatever the reason, the broadcast pulled in nearly eleven million viewers last night, its largest audience since 2002.
Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Cost, Commercials
Costing an estimated $12 million dollars to stage, the producers can extrapolate that they paid $1.17 in production costs for each viewer. Plus, according to the available figures, $300,000 is fairly standard rate for thirty seconds of prime-time network commercial airspace. Assuming ten commercial breaks for a one-hour program, containing five ads, that works out to something roughly $15 million in ad revenue generated by the fashion show.
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show has been a yearly event since 1995, televised since 2001. Making it possibly the most lavish and widely seen brand showcase in the world. As much as people love their iPhones nobody expects to see the next Apple brand roll out showcased on national TV. Although put the developers in their underwear holding iPads and Comedy Central might be interested.
Ad Culture, Business
Some may watch this event and see an affront to moral decency. Others look at it and see an entertaining diversion of the sort they fully expect from TV. It is also significant as a triumph of ad driven consumer culture. The program is a commercial, during which you can sell time for commercials. If you don't find nearly naked human models titillating perhaps your nerves respond to the brazen display of a perfectly realized business model.