Even though the company can earn back the money, what if they don't. Then it would be a total waste of money. Like instead of paying money to be on the commercial, why don't you don't buy better items to sell. It really isn't that you don't have enough publicity, its that you don't have something good to sell.
The company that makes the decision to spend millions of dollars on commercial in the Super Bowl has made the choice that a Super Bowl commercial will return value that exceeds that cost of the commercial. In the the end the company is the final finder of fact as to the value of commercial to them.
To say this is not worth it would be a complete error. Companies clearly gain from doing so, which is the reason why the advertising slot is so expensive in the first place. Moreover, companies should be allowed to spend their money in any way they wish. Although helping impoverished people would always be the "correct" thing to to, companies are about making profit.
Established companies do it every year, proving its value. If well-known companies weren't furthering their brand recognition and increasing sales, they would not keep spening the money on advertising. Every year, these companies scrutinize every dime they spend to maximize profits. The fact that they keep spending this money says that getting your brand in front of millions of eyeballs for those 30 seconds is extremely valuable.
Many people, who have no interest in football, will watch the Super Bowl because of the commercials. Even if they have no interest in the teams playing, they will gather at houses to celebrate the Super Bowl. Since the Super Bowl commercials have been known for their humor and uniqueness, other people are driven to watch the commercials, which is uncommon for any other TV specials, sports events or shows. Even after the Super Bowl, people will gather around the water cooler at work or hit the internet to discuss their favorite commercials.
Even though the company can earn back the money, what if they don't. Then it would be a total waste of money. Like instead of paying money to be on the commercial, why don't you don't buy better items to sell. It really isn't that you don't have enough publicity; it’s that you don't have something good to sell.
Spending so much money on a single commercial is a waste, and displays a lack of corporate social responsibility. It may garner a large number of views, but it is nothing more than a publicity stunt which displays the dilusional reality of corporate America. The money would be better off paying for meals for the homeless. That would get more airtime and for a longer period.