I admit, it’s an extreme calculation. But if the film is very elaborate to shoot and very post production-intensive, and if you consider all the people involved from the ad agency, film production, processing lab, post production, market research studio and media agency (and if you bare in mind that in advertising, there’s a large amount of people working quite a lot wihout actually doing ANYTHING!) then you will indeed end up with a number close to the one above.
doesn´t impress me. I guess it´s a general question of how serious or important one considers advertising. if the commercial is shooting- and post-intensive and you get some of the best people around to work on it than why not? and I don´t agree with your point of having loads of people “not doing anything” on the job. if so, change your agency, mate!