This year there’s another impressive batch of Super Bowl commercials designed to get people talking, from John Travolta recreating some of his dance moves from Grease to Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul recreating his meth cooking rolls from Breaking bath resumes.
But viewers might not be as excited about these Super Bowl commercials this year. A survey by Zeta Global, a data-driven, cloud-based marketing technology company, finds that only 18% of people do this
I look forward to running the ad in Super Bowl LVII.
That’s lower than in previous years, when other surveys found that around 40% to 50% watch the game because of the ads – and that number jumps even higher for women, with up to 60% saying so in the past that they see the super bowl for the commercials.
So why the change this year, especially when the pre-game hype and quality of promotion seem to be on par with previous years?
“The Super Bowl is an immersive experience with multiple elements competing for consumer attention (game, commercial, halftime show and food), especially now that in-person gatherings are returning,” says David. A Steinberg, CEO and co-founder of Zeta. “People are still excited to watch commercials (18% of respondents), but the distractions underscore the need for brands to market more efficiently, with quality targeting across channels to cut through the noise.”
For example, people in the poll named other things they were more excited about in the game. The largest group, 22%, said they’re looking forward to the game itself, which may reflect their status as NFL superfans – they said they’ve also watched at least 16 games this season.
Another 16% said they plan to watch the game to see halftime actress Rihanna, who will be helming the show for the first time. Last year’s halftime performance with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and others attracted more than 29 million homes, so that’s in line with expectations.
And as you would expect from a game that draws non-football fans in such large numbers, 14% say the only thing they look forward to is the snacks. It also reinforces the idea that people are excited about face-to-face gatherings.
These were less common in 2021 when the Covid-19 vaccine had only recently been released and many social distancing precautions were in place. At this time last year, regional flare-ups dampened some plans for in-person celebrations.
Additionally, the change in how Super Bowl advertising is distributed may also affect viewer excitement. So many companies now publish their commercials online before the game or give extensive previews that viewers can hardly be surprised during the game.
It is possible that the reduced excitement will continue into the future. “It’s not easy to predict what viewers will be interested in about next year’s Super Bowl until we see this year’s results,” Steinberg said. “But one thing that won’t change — and will continue to be a challenge for marketers — is how brands will compete for attention and respond to consumer intent. Marketers who stay on top with deeper intelligence, create better omnichannel experiences, and have more interesting marketing creations will win the game.