As Super Bowl weekend approaches, which will you be watching for most—the game or the ads?

by | Feb 10, 2022 | Public Relations

The Big Game is this weekend—but what will you be watching for: the game itself or the historically innovative ads? Super Bowl ads have always contributed to the excitement of the game and according to new research from Michigan-based advertising/marketing agency, HAVEN | a creative hub, this year is no exception: nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of those intending to watch the event are at least as interested in the ads as in the game.

This is true regardless of age, region, income or education

The one demo that influences advertising focus is gender: at 72 percent, women are significantly more likely than men to place as much or more focus on the ads as the game. Even so, fully half (50 percent) of male viewers According to the research, conducted online by The Harris Poll, Super Bowl ads also stand to capture a windfall in viral dividends as viewers of Super Bowl LVI turn to social networks to express their reactions to what they’re watching on the main screen. Seventy-two percent (72 percent) of US adults plan to interact with others in real time—nearly half of them (47 percent) on social media.

This year’s Super Bowl ads are highly likely to invade conversations well beyond the watch party, or even next-day gatherings around a literal or virtual water cooler

And while nearly half of all viewers are planning on social media interactions during the game, that number changes when we look only at adults 18-44. Sixty-two percent (62 percent) of younger viewers plan to interact on social media, making it their #1 choice for interaction during the game. And by sharing their in-game reactions online, these highly coveted viewers are giving the ads an extended run of relevancy.As Super Bowl weekend approaches, which will you be watching for most—the game or the ads?

“Super Bowl LVI promises to be a great showcase for advertisers,” said Bill McKendry, founder and CCO of HAVEN, in a news release. “We’ve had two weekends of exciting playoffs with record-breaking viewership. Enthusiasm will continue to build around a matchup already described by one fan on Twitter as ‘a win-win for America.” Ads that can perform in this highly engaged environment will enjoy immediate amplification on social media, and perhaps see the traditional Super Bowl ad ‘half-life’ extended.”

The survey aims to quantify the draw of Super Bowl commercials among adults intending to watch the game. According to this latest study, 80 percent of US adults plan to watch the Super Bowl vs a figure that hovered around 70 percent when HAVEN’s predecessor agency, Hanon McKendry, began polling in 2006. The 61 percent of viewers who consider the ads to be a driver in their decision to watch the Super Bowl is increasing slightly vs the high 50th percentile seen in previous years.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Haven from January 13 – 18, 2022 among 2,055 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,598 plan to watch the Super Bowl. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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