Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Survey: Most Perceive Super Bowl Commercials As Entertainment

Roughly 189 million Americans are expected to watch Super Bowl 51 on Sunday, reports the NRF, on par with last year’s figure, based on a survey of close to 7,600 adults. Planned spending surrounding the game is down slightly this year, while attitudes surrounding ads remain steady.

According to MarketingCharts, this year almost one-quarter (24%) of viewers said that the commercials are the most important part of the Super Bowl, up slightly from 23% last year. Only a minority (43%) feel that the game itself is most important, while for others spending time with friends (15%) and the half-time show (12%) are the top draws.

Super Bowl ads are generally seen as entertainment, as they have been for some time. Some 78% look at them as entertainment, basically unchanged from 2008 (76%), the first year these stats were available. Close to one-fifth (18%) indicate that the ads make them aware of advertiser brands, also steady from 2008 (17%). The one area where there seems to have been some movement over the past decade or so is in purchase influence: while only 1 in 10 this year claim that the ads will influence them to buy products from the advertisers, that’s nevertheless up from just 6% in 2008.

In other advertising attitudes reported by the NRF:
  • Some 16% believe that advertisers should save their money and pass along the savings to consumers, compared to 18% in 2008; and
  • 1 in 10 say the commercials make the game last too long, versus 11% in 2008.
In other words, save for some increases in stated purchase influence, perceptions regarding Super Bowl ads have remained essentially unchanged over time.

Below is a brief list of Super Bowl-related research with links to sources for readers interested in delving more into the stats.

Attitudes towards ads may not have changed, much, but prices have: the average rate for a 30-second spot in the Super Bowl has doubled over the past decade, from $2.4 million in 2007 to $4.8 million in 2016, per Kantar Media. (This year the ads were selling at an estimated $5-5.5 million per 30-second spot.) Including pre- and post-game programming, Kantar Media estimates that advertisers spent $445 million last year on the event, a figure it says almost equals the combined ad revenue of the 4 major broadcast networks in an average week for their complete programming schedules. That number also surpasses the annual ad revenues for some cable networks. Kantar Media also reports that average ad time in 2007 was 43 minutes and 5 seconds, while last year ad time totaled 49 minutes and 35 seconds, the second-highest clutter in the event’s 50-year history (2013 being tops with 51 minutes and 40 seconds).

This decade, auto manufacturers have been the most likely to air ads in the Super Bowl, with 9 brands last year advertising during the game, according to Kantar Media. Last year’s top-spending advertiser, however, was Anheuser-Busch, with $33.6 million in spend. There are generally around 10 first-time advertisers (give or take) each year, representing around one-quarter of advertising brands. Last year, 7 of the advertising brands (or roughly one-sixth) invested more than 10% of their annual media budget in the Super Bowl.

While the Super Bowl is most popularly viewed on TV (and YouTube notes an almost 3x increase in the Super Bowl ad viewership on YouTube via TV screens), there’s plenty of second-screening that occurs, with Influence Central noting that 78% of survey respondents engage on social media while watching the game. These consumers’ top activity when using social media is sharing their thoughts on the game, per the survey.

A Burson-Marsteller survey of 1,000 consumers who plan to watch the Super Bowl this year and who watched it last year indicates that for more than 4 in 10 viewers, social media brings them closer to the game. Six in 10 viewers are interested in the extra content provided by brands on social media in addition to their commercials, and 1 in 3 say that an ad is what they’re most likely to post about on social media during the game.

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