Do Super Bowl Ads Work on Consumers?
by David Klemt
Brands spent hundreds of millions of dollars to advertise during Super Bowl LVII, but do their ads actually translate to demand for their products?
A week ago we shared our ten favorite beverage-focused Big Game ads. Along with those ads we shared some numbers.
One of those numbers was $7 million, the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad on Fox. Other numbers? $500 million and $700 million, the range of revenue it’s estimated that Fox generated this year from Super Bowl ads.
At this point, these ads and the Halftime Show have essentially become their own entities. Some people watch the Big Game for the ads, some for the show halfway through. It stands to reason that brands are well aware of this development. So, they try to create the most impactful ad possible in the hopes of generating consumer demand.
In other words, these brands aren’t spending all this money just so they’re commercial can be deemed cool. Sure, brands want that buzz. But they also want an ROI on the millions they spend.
The big question is, then, are they seeing a return? Well, it just so happens that behavioral insight platform Veylinx has a data-driven answer to that question.
In short, the answer is yes. Of course, it’s a nuanced yes. For example, it appears Gen Z doesn’t care much about Super Bowl ads, as you’ll see below. Also, non-advertisers in the same categories as Super Bowl advertisers appear to see a benefit from the ads.
You’ll learn more from the Veylinx press release below. It’s an interesting read with valuable data for restaurant, bar, and hotel operators.
NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2023 — A new study from behavioral research company Veylinx determined whether or not Super Bowl commercials boost consumer demand for the products advertised. The results show that 2023 Super Bowl advertising fueled a 6.4% increase in demand among viewers.
The overall increase in consumer demand was driven by women, who accounted for a 21% increase in demand growth. The commercials had minimal impact on men, yielding just 1% demand growth for the brands tested. Gen Z viewers were largely unimpressed by the Super Bowl ads, with demand among 18 to 25 year olds actually shrinking by 1%.
“It’s not really a surprise to see that Super Bowl ads improve sales, but the short term bump alone may not be enough to justify the $7 million price tag,” said Veylinx founder and CEO Anouar El Haji.
Using Veylinx’s proprietary methodology—which measures actual demand rather than intent—the study tested purchase behavior during the week before the Super Bowl and again the week after. The research focused on measuring the change in consumer demand for eight brands with Super Bowl ads: Michelob Ultra, Heineken 0.0%, Hellmann’s Mayo, Downy Unstopables, Crown Royal Whisky, Frito-Lay PopCorners, Pringles and Pepsi Zero Sugar.
Super Bowl Advertising Winners Overall
Michelob Ultra – 19% increase in demand
Pepsi Zero Sugar – 18% increase in demand
Frito-Lay PopCorners – 12% increase in demand
Heineken 0.0% – 11% increase in demand
Super Bowl Advertising Winners Among Women
Pepsi Zero Sugar – 45% increase in demand
Michelob Ultra – 40% increase in demand
Heineken 0.0% – 40% increase in demand
Crown Royal Whisky – 26% increase in demand
Halo Effect for Non-Advertisers
The biggest winners were arguably brands in the same product categories as Super Bowl advertisers. Non-advertisers in those categories appeared to benefit nearly as much as the advertisers: demand grew by 4.2% percent for the study’s control group of non-advertising competitors. Corona Extra, Kraft Mayo and Lay’s STAX were the greatest beneficiaries in a control group that also included Budweiser Zero, Arm & Hammer Clean Scentsations, Canadian Club Whisky, Popchips, and Coke Zero Sugar. Notably, every non-advertiser saw at least a slight increase in post-Super Bowl demand.
“The goal of our study was to look specifically at how consumer demand is affected by running a commercial during the Super Bowl,” El Haji said. “It’s possible that the non-advertisers deployed other marketing efforts to offset or take advantage of the Super Bowl advertising—or they simply benefited from increased exposure for their categories.”
Study participants also answered a series of follow-up questions about their preferences, perceptions and how they watched the Super Bowl. More than three-quarters watched at home through various platforms, the most popular being the live cable/satellite broadcast (38%), followed by YouTube TV (15%) and Hulu (10%). When asked why they watched, it’s no surprise that participants were all about the game (64%)—but the commercials were the next most popular reason for watching (39%), followed by halftime (35%), the social aspect (26%) and fear of missing out (13%).
About the Research
Veylinx studied the behavior of 1,610 U.S. consumers pre- and post- Super Bowl LVII. Unlike typical surveys where consumers are simply asked about their purchase intent, Veylinx measures whether consumers will pay for a product through a real bidding process. Consumers reveal their true willingness to pay by placing sealed bids on products and then answering follow-up questions.
For more information about the study and the Veylinx methodology, visit info.veylinx.com/super-bowl
Veylinx is the most realistic behavioral insights platform for confidently answering critical business questions during all stages of product innovation. To reliably predict demand, Veylinx captures insights through a Nobel Prize-winning approach in which consumers have real skin in the game. This is a major advance from traditional market research practices that rely on what consumers say they would hypothetically buy. Veylinx’s unique research methodology is trusted by the world’s largest and most innovative consumer goods companies.