Vail Daily column: Thirty seconds equals $4 million |

Vail Daily column: Thirty seconds equals $4 million

I read last week that the Super Bowl ads are completely sold out for this year and they have been sold out since October. Companies looking to leverage this year’s big event paid $3.5 million for a 30-second commercial with some paying as much as $4 million.

There are either some really smart people working for these companies or there are executives willing to take a huge risk that a 30-second spot will attract consumers to their products. Is the research and data really that supportive of the investment? Could this be one of those talked about indicators that the economy is starting to come back? Let that sink in for a minute … $4 million for a 30-second commercial.

How much is 30 seconds of your time worth? I don’t mean based on your hourly income or annualized income, but how much is your “personal” time really worth? No one can put a price on time, with the exception apparently of the Super Bowl.

What if you could find several blocks of 30 seconds in each day? What if you could spend 30 seconds calling, texting, or emailing your spouse or child? I’ll bet that a 30-second commercial from you, letting someone know just how special they are or how much you love them would make them feel like a million bucks and maybe even much more than $4 million.

With our 30-second commercial, we could choose to be sincere and dramatic or we could be silly and funny just like some of the ads we have watched over the years during the Super Bowl.

In 30 seconds, maybe we can help connect two people that may be able to fall in love, or do business together. Perhaps we can give a referral to one of our favorite local stores, restaurants, or doctor’s offices. It would not cost that business or practice a dime, but the gratitude and appreciation would be tremendous and feel awesome.

Given 30 seconds, we can choose to make a difference in someone’s life. How many stories have we heard or seen where a person leaps to heroic action to save someone from a frozen river or pond, or races into a burning building to rescue someone trapped inside? Talk to the survivors and ask them if they believe that 30 seconds of bravery was worth more than $4 million. You already know the answer, don’t you?

The business of the Super Bowl is just that – its business. Companies have paid millions and they will continue to pay millions in attempt to gain the love and loyalty of the consumer. The good news is that 30 seconds of our time could have an even greater impact on the world, and each person or business we choose to share our time with will feel like it was the best 30-second commercial they ever experienced. Try it and check out what your ratings look like on the love and loyalty meter.

Thanks again for all of the emails. I would love to hear what your 30-second commercial might sound like at, and I hope that you will make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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