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Ads Continue to Have Drawing Power on Super Bowl Sunday

From January 30, 2013 – Bulldog Reporter: Big Game Marketing: Ads Continue to Have Drawing Power on Super Bowl Sunday, New Gravity Six Alliance Study Finds—Over Half of Adults Will Watch As Much For the Ads as For the Game

Super Bowl ads will rival the big game on February 2, with 55 percent of U.S. adults who plan to watch Super Bowl XLVIII tuning in as much or more for the commercials as for the game, according to the latest Gravity Six Alliance poll conducted online by Harris Interactive among 2,035 U.S. adults ages 18 and older in January. Interest in the ads is strongest among women, with 67 percent of female viewers saying they watch as much or more for the ads, compared to 44 percent of male viewers.

The variation is even more significant among those viewers who say they tune in predominantly or exclusively for the ads—just over 28 percent of women in 2014 vs. nine percent of men.

“Ads continue to be an important part of the full Super Bowl entertainment package, especially for women,” said John Sawyer, chairman of Gravity Six Alliance and principal at partner agency Grey Matter Group, in a news release. “For brands, this is the one time each year when over 100 million people will engage with their message. Not just notice it, but beg the room to quiet down so they can hear it, and then post and tweet about it. No wonder advertisers line up to pay $4 million for a spot.”

Despite the big interest in the ads, one trend in Super Bowl advertising—pre-game release of the ads—does not seem to be winning the hearts of the American public. Only 15 percent of U.S adults said that they plan to watch Super Bowl commercials that are available online before the game—and the figure dropped to 12 percent among the 55 and older crowd.  U.S. adults ages 35–44 were most likely to get into the pre-game action, with 17 percent saying they would watch ads online in advance of the game. Sixty percent of U.S. adults said they would not watch the ads online before the game and 25 percent weren’t sure.

Pre-game viewing by men and women varies by eight percentage points, with 19 percent of U.S. adult men saying they plan to watch Super Bowl ads available online before the game, versus 11 percent of U.S. adult women.

“To date, brands haven’t found the right formula to capture attention for their ads prior to the Super Bowl,” said Gregg Palazzolo, chief creative officer at Palazzolo Design, a Gravity Six partner agency, in the release. “This probably calls for new tactics. We’re starting to see some of those this year—like using buzz-worthy celebrities in teasers about the ads—we’ll just have to watch how that turns out.”

According to the 2014 Gravity Six Alliance study, 72 percent of U.S. adults plan to watch Super Bowl XLVIII, a number that has remained fairly steady since Gravity Six Alliance partner agency DO MORE GOOD | Hanon McKendry began the poll in 2006. The study also confirmed consistently strong interest in Super Bowl advertising over the past nine years, with a solid 54-57 percent of adult viewers each year saying they tune in as much or more for the ads as for the game.

The Gravity Six Alliance survey aims to quantify the draw of Super Bowl commercials among the more than 108 million anticipated viewers. Now in its ninth year, the survey has consistently found that over half of U.S. adult viewers planned to watch as much or more for the ads, with numbers ranging from 54 percent in 2009 to 57 percent in 2010 and 2007.


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