Researchers Find Celebrities Lose Influence in Super Bowl Ads

If the companies that spend millions to advertise in the Super Bowl want viewers to like their ads, the ads should feature a cute kid instead of a pop star, say University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire marketing professors Dr. Chuck Tomkovick and Dr. Rama Yelkur, who have done multiple studies on Super Bowl advertising.

“In the past, including a celebrity in your ad was a no-brainer,” said Tomkovick. “For years the use of celebrities was among the top predictors of popular Super Bowl ads. But our most recent research shows that’s no longer true. Celebrities have lost their influence when it comes to popular Super Bowl ads.”

Including children has become a top predicator of Super Bowl ad likeability, as has the amount of information shared about a product, Yelkur said.

“Humor, animals and product category have endured for 20 years as high predictors of popularity,” Tomkovick said, noting that categories like beverages and chips continue to be popular. “New to the list are children and limiting the amount of information shared about a product.”

Researchers studied data from 1996-2010 and found that the Super Bowl advertising firms outperformed the S&P’s 500 during the two-week timeframe in the vast majority of those years, Yelkur said.

For details, contact Dr. Chuck Tomkovick at 715-836-2529 or, or Dr. Rama Yelkur at 715-836-4674 or

SOURCE University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire