This year’s Super Bowl (which drew a record-setting TV audience) is in the rear view mirror, but research continues to emerge concerning the return on advertisers’ efforts. Unlike the game itself, which actually did feature a clear winner, there are plenty of advertising “winners and losers” to be found depending on which metric is used.
Of course, it may well be that it’s some time before winners can actually be pronounced. Nevertheless, there are plenty of studies emerging to proclaim victors. The following is a brief(ish) list of highlights from those studies.
[Editor’s Note: The following was published prior to the game.]
The Super Bowl is almost here, and NBC has reportedly sold out of ad space at a record $4.5 million per 30 seconds. This article provides a quick look at some of the research that has emerged in the past few weeks surrounding the event, including advertiser spending and consumer attitudes to Super Bowl spots.
According to a recently-released survey from the NRF, slightly more than three-quarters (75.8%) of American adults will watch the Super Bowl this year, with this figure having slowly climbed from 69.7% back in 2007. Men (83.1%) are more likely to watch than women, although almost 7 in 10 women plan to watch. When sorting by age group, the survey results also show that youth are more likely to watch than their older counterparts, with 83.1% of 18-24-year-olds expecting to tune in versus 66.8% of adults aged 65 and older.
Viewers will be spending on food and beverages and other items for Super Bowl Sunday, at an estimated $77.88 per person, the highest figure going back at least as far as 2007 ($56.07).
Given 4 options as to the most important part of the Super Bowl, the largest portion of viewers said the game itself is most important, although only a minority (46.8%) share stated that to be the case. In fact, roughly one-quarter of viewers said that the commercials are most important to them. Another survey, from Burson Marsteller, arrives at a similar conclusion: 53% of respondents reported that their primary reason for tuning into the game is the football itself, while 23% watch primarily for the commercials.
As for attitudes to the TV commercials, 77.1% of the NRF’s survey respondents look at them as entertainment, a percentage that has remained relatively steady over the years. (And that entertainment should be humorous, according to the Burson Marsteller survey: 91% of respondents said that they’re more excited to see ads that feature humor than those designed to elicit an emotional response.)
Meanwhile, about 1 in 5 viewers responding to the NRF survey said the commercials make them aware of advertiser brands, the highest figure since that question was first asked in 2008, though only slightly higher than 2013’s result (19.5%). Similarly, 10.7% of viewers this year said that TV commercials influence them to buy products from the advertisers, again the highest figure on record, but only slightly above 2013’s result (10.5%). Male viewers (12.3%) are more likely than female viewers (9.2%) to be influenced by ads to buy products, while 18-24-year-old viewers (19.2%) are by far the most likely among age groups.
If (a big if) the 10.7% of the viewing population (of almost 184 million adults, based on NRF’s tally) watching were indeed influenced to buy products from advertisers as a result of watching the Super Bowl, that would mean that almost 20 million adults would be influenced by the commercials.
Are the ads worth the price tag? No, according to Communicus, which argues (by way of Ad Age) that advertisers performed below-average last year in terms of brand awareness and purchase intent. Even so, that’s based on survey data, which may not be a reliable indicator. Looking at it from another angle (digital activity), iSpot.tv concludes that the investment is worth it: analyzing the 110 ads aired during last year’s game, iSpot.tv finds that these ads comprised only 0.11% of all ads aired last year, but represented 9.4% of all digital activity across ads (including online video views, social media mentions and search queries.) Expect more studies on Super Bowl ad effectiveness to emerge after the game’s final whistle.
The following list provides a brief look at some other Super Bowl-related data.
About the Data: Please follow the links provided for more details on the surveys and research cited.
Topics: Automotive, Boomers & Older, Brand Loyalty & Purchase Habits, Brand Metrics, Creative & Production, Men, Mobile Phone, Paid Search, Return on Investment, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Spending & Spenders, Sports, Tablet, Television, Traditional, TV Advertising, Women, Youth & Gen X
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