How Super is the Super Bowl? 62% of Advertisers will Fumble ROI

Brand Keys’ 8th Annual Survey Shows Denny’s, Iron Man 2, and Hyundai Will Score Best with Super Bowl Fans

NEW YORK NY January 25 – Not all programs are right for all brands, even
if it happens to be the Super Bowl. The 8th annual Super Bowl Engagement
Survey, conducted by Brand Keys, Inc. (, a New York-
based brand and customer loyalty research consultancy, reports that when
it comes to the monetary return advertisers will get on their advertising investments in the Super Bowl, upsets are not limited to the playing field.

Five Winners and Five Losers
Brand Keys’ research shows that Denny’s, Viacom’s Iron Man 2, Hyundai,
Anhauser-Busch (Budweiser), and Diamond Food’s Pop-Secret are the five
advertisers most likely to get the highest return on their Super Bowl ad
investments. Advertisers like TRUTV, Kia, HomeAway, Dockers, and Dr.
Pepper are likely to see much lower returns.

This year’s Brand Keys’ survey was conducted the third week of January,
among a national sample of 1,350 men and women, 18 – 65 years of age,
who indicated that they were going to watch Super Bowl XLIV, February
7th. The research examines most of the brands advertising ‘on the Super
Bowl’ and includes brands reported in industry publications as having
purchased spots.

“This is more than Monday-morning creative quarterbacking,” said Robert
Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys. “Day-after creative
reviews are always interesting, have a high ‘Water Cooler Effect’ and
elicit lots of Monday after chatter. But advertisers should remember
that ‘buzz’ comes in two frequencies: positive and negative. ‘Wasn’t
that terrible?’ generally isn’t a phrase that appears in creative
briefs,” noted Passikoff.

Even setting aside the question of quality creative, the survey brings
into harsh relief the question being more loudly articulated this year –
does the ad buy actually lift the brand?

“More and more, clients want to know more than was their ad seen, and
with 30-second spots selling for $2.5 million – $2.8 million, this is a
whole new ballgame. Brands like Pepsi, which has advertised on the Super
Bowl forever, have decided there are more effective media venues,” noted

Predicting Brand Loyalty
The Super Bowl Engagement Survey, like the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty
Engagement Index (, is created to predictively measure
respondents’ true reactions to brands within the context of the medium.
Results correlate highly with consumer behavior, and are reliable
predictors of future brand purchase. “Think of it as identifying how the
media reinforces, or in some cases degrades brand values,” said
Passikoff. “What you want to see is a minimum of seven points added to
your brand to ensure you’re getting a real return on a very expensive

Assessments for the 2010 Super Bowl XLIV advertisers:

Advertiser						"Super Bowl" R.O.I	
Anhauser-Busch	 (Budweiser)			+8
Audi									+6
Boost Mobile							-0-
Bridgestone Firestone (Halftime Sponsor)		+5	
CareerBuilder							+6								 -3
Coke									+2
Denny's								+9
Diamond Foods (Pop-Secret)				+10
Dockers								-2
Doritos								+9
Dr. Pepper Cherry						-4
E*Trade								-2
Electronic Arts							+7
Go							+3
HomeAway							-3
Hyundai								+10
Kia									-5
Mars									+5
Monster								+7
Motorola								+7
NFL									+9
Telaflora								-0-
TRUTV								-2
US Census Bureau						-0-
Unilever's Dove Men&Care					+7
Universal Pictures (The Wolfman)			+7
Viacom's Paramount Pictures (Shutter Island)	-0-
Viacom's Paramount Pictures (Iron Man 2)	+11
Viacom's Paramount Pictures (Last Airbender)	+4
Walt Disney (Alice In Wonderland)			-0-
Walt Disney (Toy Story 3)					+6

Engagement assessments are separate from how many eyeballs were watching
and are a reality check that lets advertisers know how super their media
buys actually are, and it can be done before signing a check. “It has
nothing to do with ‘being watched’ or of consumers ‘being aware,’ and
has everything to do with being emotionally engaged with the brand,”
noted Passikoff. “That’s vastly different from just being entertained. A
laugh is not an acceptable return on an investment of this size.”

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Contact Dr. Robert Passikoff
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