Ads Make Super Bowl Commercially Appealing


New InsightExpress surveys find half of all viewers watch the Big Game for the commercials making the game a real winner with both consumers and media planners

According to a survey of 500 Americans, commercials are a big reason viewers tune in to the Super Bowl. The survey conducted by InsightExpress, a professional research firm, reveals that while more than half of all Americans (54%) plan to watch this year’s Super Bowl, many (50%) will watch specifically for the commercials. Additionally, nearly 3 in 5 viewers (58%) claim to pay closer attention to ads during the Super Bowl than they do to ads they see everyday. 

Madison Avenue can take comfort in the fact that both media planners and consumers tout the over-all effectiveness of Super Bowl advertising. In a companion survey of 140 media planners, InsightExpress and leading media publisher MediaPost discovered that almost all media planners (97%) see Super Bowl spots as effective in raising consumer awareness. Most media professionals not only believe consumers pay closer attention to commercials during the big game, but more importantly that the ads will also influence purchase behavior. 

Viewers’ actions mirror media planners’ optimism, as they say Super Bowl advertising has much more impact than the ads they are exposed to every day. More specifically, consumers reveal the power of in-game ads:


Impact of Super Bowl CommercialsPercentage of Viewers Agreeing
I pay closer attention to Super Bowl commercials than everyday ads58%
I have purchased a product as a result of seeing a Super Bowl commercial26%
I pay more attention to the commercials than the game itself25%


“Super Bowl ads actually compare quite favorably with other media buys in terms of their efficiency in generating audience reach – particularly among men,” said Joe Mandese, editor-in-chief of MediaPost. “When you consider that Super Bowl spots are one of the few advertising buys that are guaranteed to reach consumers who are actually in a mindset to watch advertising, the real value is much greater than their pure media cost.”
“Given the financial and reputational  risk of reaching so many consumers at a single time, Super Bowl advertisers need to ensure their ads will resonate with consumers on game day,” said Lee Smith, president of InsightExpress. “With $2.25MM on the line for a 30 second spot, wise advertisers will have measured the effectiveness of their commercials in advance—making adjustments to ensure their ads are understood, are memorable, and meet their advertising objectives.”
Consumers and advertisers agree the most important attributes of a memorable Super Bowl commercial include humor, special effects, and catch phrases. Humor is the over-arching theme in viewers’ favorite ads from last year’s game; Budweiser’s Football Clydesdales’ Instant Replay (34%); Pepsi’s Lemon Twist with the Osbournes (19%); Visa’s Yo – Yao (18%); Reebok’s Terry Tate Office Linebacker (13%) and FedEx’s Castaway (13%).
Respondents for the consumer survey were randomly recruited online using InsightExpress’ patent-pending e-RDD methodology, with results compiled in 36 hours. The media planner survey was conducted through an InsightExpress/MediaPost partnership, providing unique industry insights through monthly surveys. Both surveys were created, distributed and tabulated in mid January.
About InsightExpress
InsightExpress is the acknowledged pioneer of rapid turnaround, high-quality, online market research services. With its award-winning and patented technology, market research expertise, and access to more than 100 million online individuals, InsightExpress enables its clients to easily harness market research to make the right business decision in real time. InsightExpress is affiliated with General Atlantic Partners. Visit us on the Web at or call 203-359-4174.