Eisner Communications' Super Bowl Ad Study Shows Less Interest in the Ads


Press Release Source: Eisner Communications

Little Backlash from Wardrobe Malfunction, Little Interest in Rooney’s Butt

BALTIMORE /PRNewswire/ — Only seven percent (7%) of U.S. adults will watch Super Bowl XXXIX just to watch the commercials according to the annual Eisner Communications Super Bowl Ad Survey of 1,000 U.S. adults (http://www.eisner-communications.com/superbowlads) released today – down 2% from last year, and the lowest number who report they are tuning in just to watch the ads in years.

According to Eisner’s Senior Vice President, David Blum, “What we may be seeing is viewers lowering expectations about the commercials in light of extensive publicity on how docile the game, the halftime show and the ads will be this year rather than specific backlash from the infamous wardrobe malfunction incident.”

In fact, the Eisner Communications Survey shows that the number of adults who are less likely to watch the game because of the Jackson incident (17%) is offset by the number who report they are more likely to watch this year’s broadcast (15%). Not surprisingly, most of those more likely to watch are men, while females constitute the majority of those less likely to tune in.

Likewise, other well-publicized incidents such as the NBA brawl in Detroit, the Terrell Owens/Desperate Housewives Monday Night Football promotion look to have little effect on probable Super Bowl and Super Bowl advertising viewership. “While these situations generated tremendous attention and media hype, the attention has not affected the consumer’s desire to watch the country’s premier spectacle and sporting event,” Blum remarked.

Mickey’s Tail

Almost thirty percent (29%) of the adult population has heard about Airborne’s cold remedy commercial that was rejected by Fox Television for the Super Bowl because it shows a naked backside of Mickey Rooney for 2-3 seconds. Interestingly, only 35% of those who have heard about it want to see it. Of those 69% who had not heard about the ad, a whopping 79% did not want to see the commercial.

“Whether they want to see an 80-year-old’s naked butt is immaterial,” Blum commented, “without spending the $2.4 million to run the spot in the Super Bowl they reached half the audience that would have tuned in with the publicity the rejected ad has generated.” Key 2005 Survey Findings/Information * 33% of adults will watch the big game because they always do – the highest number ever recorded. 8% have a rooting interest in either team or the match-up, obviously concentrated in the northeastern U.S. * 15% will watch for a chance to get with friends and relatives, up slightly from 2004. * About half of those watching expect to catch most or all of the halftime extravaganza. 13% said they would watch counter programming, 25% will tune out until the beginning of the second half and 14% will watch only a small portion of Paul McCartney and Company.

The 2005 Eisner Super Bowl Advertising Study was conducted among 1,000 households nationwide and has a +/-3.5% margin of error. It is the 12th year of the study.

Additional Information from Previous Eisner Surveys * In terms of where Americans plan to watch the big game, only 10% of those who will watch expect to attend or host a Super Bowl party. Just 3% will watch at a bar, tavern or restaurant. The majority will watch in their own home alone, or with a few friends or family. * About half of adults will watch some of the pre-game festivities, but only 25% expect to pay attention to the ads during the 4-hour-plus pre-game show. * 45% will continue to watch the game and the ads even if it is a blowout. 8% will continue watching the ads and not the game, 35% will start channel surfing, and 9% will drop out completely. * 35% expect they will discuss Super Bowl ads at the water cooler the next day and 18% will still think about them all week. 21% say they will forget them all very soon after watching.

2005 Super Bowl Advertisers * 2005 advertisers paying an average of $2.4 million to Fox for thirty seconds include: Anheuser-Busch (various brands), Visa, Ameriquest Mortgage, FedEx, Frito-Lay, Pepsi (various brands), McDonald’s, Cadillac and several movie studios. Newcomers include: Careerbuilder.com, Emerald Nuts, Godaddy.com and Cosentino.

About Eisner Communications: (http://www.eisner-communications.com) Eisner is a full-service, integrated communications agency headquartered in Baltimore, with a 150-person staff. Eisner ranks among the top 10 independent agencies in the country today. Eisner’s year-end 2004 billings are $327 million. Now in its 65th year, the firm specializes in the creation and promotion of brand identity through integrated communications.

Source: Eisner Communications