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Chips, Beer and…Lip Gloss Which Super Bowl Advertisers Will Drive Consumer Spending
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Chips, Beer and…Lip Gloss Which Super Bowl Advertisers Will Drive Consumer Spending

As the Steelers and Packers prepare to go head to head in Super Bowl XLV, the always anticipated showdown off the field will once again take place as advertisers battle to keep viewers glued to the TV during the commercial breaks.

According to Nielsen, nearly 48 minutes of paid television advertising (including the pre-game kick-off) ran during the 2010 Super Bowl. Last year’s game drew an estimated $219 million in advertising, trumping total regular season ad spend for most other major sports last year, excluding football. With sold out ad inventory for this year’s Super Bowl and such a diverse and massive pack of consumers expected to tune in, which advertisers stand the best chance of capturing the audience and getting the greatest return on their investment?

In a recent online survey of 500 U.S. consumers, Nielsen revealed that one in three respondents said they bought a product in the past 12 months based on seeing an ad for the product. Those who said they bought a product based on an ad were more likely to do so for certain product categories more than others. 68 percent of those surveyed said they bought food (CPG) products within the past year after seeing the product advertised, while 36 percent said they were compelled to buy beverages (hot/cold/soft drinks) after seeing an ad.

Ads for health/beauty products (cosmetics, hair products, personal hygiene, etc.) also resonated with more than half (51%) of consumers. In each of these categories, TV ads were cited as the most effective form of advertisement by far. 85 percent, 83 percent and 70 percent of respondents said TV commercials influenced them the most when purchasing beverages, food and health/beauty products, respectively.

This bodes well for three of the top five product categories that advertised in the 2010 Super Bowl and, after an estimated 48.5 million women watched last year’s game, presents a big opportunity for health and beauty companies to expand their reach. However, for longer-term purchases, such as personal finance services and cars, only 10 percent of consumers surveyed said they had bought either of those products based on exposure to an ad. Still, TV was cited as the most influential medium when deciding to purchase a car (32%), financial service (43%), pharmaceuticals (64%) or home electronics (57%).

Top 5 Product Categories (2010 Super Bowl Advertising)
RANK Product Category Ad Expenditure (000’s)
1 Automotives $32,715.10
2 Beer $32,715.10
3 Motion Picture $16,357.55
4 Regular Soft Drinks $14,870.50
5 Tortilla Chips $11,896.40
Source: The Nielsen Company

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Cuddly, Funny, Sexy Ads Most Effective in the Big Game

An analysis of Super Bowl ads airing over the past six years (2005-2010) reveals that commercials featuring animals, humor and scantily clad women often show higher resonance among males and females. “Resonance,” one of Nielsen’s “4 Rs” of advertising effectiveness (Reach, Receptivity, Resonance, Reaction), shows how well a campaign generated the desired viewer response to the brand. Nielsen data shows that men, in particular, can recall the brand advertised in beer commercials, while non-fatal violence (ie. people crashing into things or being slapped by each other) and collisions/explosions resonates better with women. Teens and young adults (13-34) are more receptive to funny ads, including those with non-fatal violence, while older viewers (35+) show higher recall for ads that feature animals and beer. Across the board, commercials focusing on automotives, charitable organizations, and football-related content do not resonate as strongly.

Most Recalled 2010 Super Bowl Ads (age 13-34)
RANK Brand Ad Description Game Quarter Recall Index
1 Snickers Betty White and Abe Vigoda are tackled (:30) Q1 166
2 Doritos Man lays in casket full of snack chips (:30) Q1 156
3 Budweiser Survivors of plane crash party on deserted island (:45) Q2 154
4 Budweiser Man lives in house made of Bud Light (:30) Q1 151
5 Denny’s Chicken screams as woman blows out birthday candles (:15) Q4 145
Source: The Nielsen Company.

The Recall score is the percentage of viewers who can recall the brand of an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of viewing the Super Bowl. These scores are then indexed against the average score for all Super Bowl ads (Recall Index).

Most Recalled 2010 Super Bowl Ads (age 35+)
RANK Brand Ad Description Game Quarter Recall Index
1 Doritos Man lays in casket full of snack chips (:30) Q1 153
2 Doritos Dog takes off shock collar and puts it on man (:30) Q1 150
3 Doritos Young boy slaps mother’s date (:30) Q4 143
4 Budweiser Clydesdale and calf race each other along fence (:60) Q2 142
5 GoDaddy.com Newscaster shows Danica Patrick “how hot is too hot” (:30) Q4 142
Source: The Nielsen Company.

The Recall score is the percentage of viewers who can recall the brand of an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of viewing the Super Bowl. These scores are then indexed against the average score for all Super Bowl ads (Recall Index).

Most Recalled 2010 Super Bowl Ads (Females)
RANK Brand Ad Description Game Quarter Recall Index
1 Snickers Betty White and Abe Vigoda are tackled (:30) Q1 162
2 Doritos Dog takes off shock collar and puts it on man (:30) Q1 155
3 Doritos Man lays in casket full of snack chips (:30) Q1 154
4 Budweiser Clydesdale and calf race each other along fence (:60) Q4 154
5 Budweiser Town forms human bridge for delivery truck to drive over (:60) Q2 150
Source: The Nielsen Company.

The Recall score is the percentage of viewers who can recall the brand of an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of viewing the Super Bowl. These scores are then indexed against the average score for all Super Bowl ads (Recall Index).

Most Recalled 2010 Super Bowl Ads (Males)
RANK Brand Ad Description Game Quarter Recall Index
1 Doritos Man lays in casket full of snack chips (:30) Q1 153
2 Doritos Young boy slaps mother’s date (:30) Q1 150
3 Denny’s Chicken screams as woman blows out birthday candles (:15) Q4 143
4 Budweiser Survivors of plane crash party on deserted island (:45) Q2 142
5 GoDaddy.com Newscaster shows Danica Patrick “how hot is too hot” (:30) Q4 142
Source: The Nielsen Company.

The Recall score is the percentage of viewers who can recall the brand of an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of viewing the Super Bowl. These scores are then indexed against the average score for all Super Bowl ads (Recall Index).