Starcom's Super Bowl Survey Scores

CHICAGO, /PRNewswire/ — Starcom Media Services, a division of the Leo Burnett Company, polled 300 Super Bowl viewers and 200 non-viewers Monday to find out whether the combination of the NFL’s superstars and great advertising really form a winning team. Starcom’s game plan assessed the attention level to the game itself, advertising involvement and awareness, and game day rituals to uncover why Super Bowl advertising scores extra points with viewers.”Our predictions were correct. Sunday’s Super Bowl attracted a particularly attentive crowd that rarely changed channels and was very tuned into both the actual game and the memorable ads shown during breaks,” said Kate Lynch, director of research for Starcom MediaServices.

Do people really watch the Super Bowl? An astounding 45 percent paid attention both during the game and commercial breaks. The viewers included everyone from fanatics, representing 58 percent of the audience, to rejectors who grudgingly watched the game with others. Of the viewers, 44 percent watched the entire game and 36 percent watched most of the game, most likely due to the perception of the game as a “social event” making it more likely for people to stick it out.

And despite the blowout, Denver beat Atlanta 34-19, 48 percent said the game was entertaining.

Super Super Bowl Advertising

According to Lynch, advertising is part of what makes the Super Bowl an event. With 45 percent of viewers watching the commercials overall, 62 percent of those viewers paid more attention to Super Bowl commercials than they do during typical TV viewing. More importantly, the water cooler effect makes Super Bowl ads the Monday morning buzz with 52 percent of viewers talking and appreciating the uniqueness and quality of SuperBowl selling.

Viewer Connection Equals Higher Recall

The research also confirmed that fans under the age of 35 are the super fans of the game. A whopping 74 percent paid more attention to Super Bowl ads versus 50 percent of older viewers. Of all viewers, 83 percent remember seeing beer advertising, while most categories had recall levels of 40 to 45 percent.

“Football fans expect great advertising,” said Wally Hayward, director of sports marketing at Starcom. “When an advertiser’s creative message connects with the fans, the pay out is pro-bowl caliber.”

Starcom Media Services is the leading purchaser of all U.S. media, spending $2.7 billion in 1997. Over the past two years, Starcom has been entrusted with new media assignments in the U.S. totaling over $1.5 billion from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Miller Brewing Company, Procter & Gamble, The Gap, Kraft Foods, Budget Car Rental, Sara Lee and Diageo. Starcom employs 510 media professionals in the U.S. who provide strategic, tactical and executional media expertise to 47 roster clients.

Leo Burnett ( operates a global network of 211 operating units across 75 markets, including 85 full-service advertising agencies and a variety of specialty marketing services, including direct, database and interactive marketing, sales promotion and public relations. Burnett has produced some of the industry’s most enduring advertising campaigns that have helped build 507 of the world’s leading brands. The network currently handles seven of the world’s 25 most valuable global brands as ranked by Interbrand: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, Marlboro, Kellogg, Tampax and Nintendo. It also handles 22 other brands in the top 100. Founded in Chicago in 1935 with eight employees and three clients, today Leo Burnett employs more than 8,500 people and posted billings of U.S. $6.6 billion in 1998.