Majority of Super Bowl Viewers Say TV Ads are Entertainment

February 1, 2012

nrf-super-bowl-ad-opinions.jpg73% of Super Bowl viewers say they look at Super Bowl TV commercials as entertainment, by far the leading opinion cited by respondents to an NRF survey conducted by BIGinsight, released in January 2012. The proportion of viewers who say that advertisers should save their money and pass the savings on to them (18.5%) is roughly matched by those who say the ads make them aware of advertiser brands (16.9%). Similarly, although 8.9% complain that the commercials make the game last too long, a similar proportion report that they influence them to buy products from the advertisers (8.4%).

Young adults appear more likely to be influenced by commercials, with 14.3% of 18-24 year-old viewers agreeing that the commercials influence them to buy products from the advertisers. Among other age groups, the numbers drop, with 10.4% of 25-34 year-olds, 10% of 35-44 year-olds, 7.2% of 45-54 year-olds, and 6% of 55-64 year-olds saying they are influenced by the ads.

Overall, 19% of respondents say that the commercials are the most important part of the Super Bowl, compared to 34.8% who say the game is most important.

Ads Achieve Bump

Meanwhile, according to Nielsen, ads that aired during 2011’s Super Bowl were on average 58% more memorable than commercials airing during regular programming in Q1 2011. In addition, brand awareness for commercials airing during the Super Bowl was up to 275% higher than awareness for the same creative during regular programming.

Auto Drives to Ad Category Lead

Nielsen also reports that spending on automotive ads far surpassed other categories for the 2011 Super Bowl, more than doubling from previous years to $77.5 billion, ahead of motion pictures ($31 billion), beer ($21.7 billion), soft drinks ($12.4 billion), and tortilla chips ($9.3 billion).

The average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad in 2011 was $96,807, down from $101,485 in 2010, but up from $94,742 in 2009.

Audience Numbers, Consumer Spending to Set Peak

Data from the NRF survey indicates that 173 million people will watch the Super Bowl this year, the most in the survey’s 8-year history, and up from an estimated 171 million last year. Consumer spending for the Super Bowl is also expected to reach an all-time high, with the average viewer planning to spend $63.87 on related merchandise, apparel, and snacks, up from $59.33 last year.

The leading purchase categories among viewers are food and beverages (71.3%), apparel or accessories (8.6%), decorations (6.4%), and furniture or a new entertainment center (2.4%).

About the Data: The NRF data is based on a survey of 9,317 consumers aged 18 and older, conducted from January 4-11, 2012.

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