Over Two-Thirds of Americans Planning to Watch the Super Bowl

    NEW YORK, N.Y. – February 3, 2011 – It’s that time of year again. People are shopping for party snacks and beverages, commercials and the halftime show are discussed and, oh yeah, a football game will be played as well. This weekend is Super Bowl XLV in Dallas where either the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Green Bay Packers will be champions. Around the nation, over two-thirds of Americans (69%) say they will be watching the game. Equal numbers say they will be hosting family and friends at their house (14%) and going to someone’s house (14%) for the game while 4% will watch at a bar or restaurant. Two in five (38%) say they know they will watch, but are just not sure of what their plans are yet.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,516 adults surveyed online between January 25 and 27, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

    Commercials and the Halftime Show

    While this is all about the game, there are other components to the day that have become just as important. The commercials are one major part of Super Bowl Sunday. Each year they are talked about, and the best and worst are debated. Almost nine in ten of those who plan to watch the game either are looking forward to watching the ads (59%) or, while they may not necessarily look forward to them, enjoy watching the ads (30%). In fact, only one in ten don’t pay any special attention to the ads (8%) or wish they didn’t have advertising during the Super Bowl (3%).

    Then, there is the halftime show. Designed to be a spectacle that hopefully does not have any wardrobe malfunctions, it’s curious that the halftime entertainment is not as eagerly awaited as the commercials. Just one-third of those who are planning to watch the game (33%) look forward to the halftime show while one-quarter (27%) don’t look forward to it but enjoy it when it comes on. Three in ten (29%) of those planning to watch the game say they don’t pay any special attention to the halftime show and one in ten (10%) find it to be a distraction from the main event.

    Packers vs. Steelers

    Back near the beginning of the football season 7% of football fans said the Green Bay Packers would be the Super Bowl champions while 4% said it would be the Steelers . Now, the Packers still have an edge in who will be cheering them on: almost two in five of those planning to watch the Super Bowl (38%) will be rooting for them, with 14% being fans and 24% joining the regular-season fans to root for them on Sunday. Three in ten (28%) are rooting for the Steelers with 13% saying they are regular-season fans while 15% are signing up to root for them on Sunday. One-third of those watching the game (34%) say they aren’t rooting for either team – they just like the Super Bowl.

    Packers and Steelers fans obviously have some differences, but one might be surprising. Those rooting for the Packers are more into the game aspect, while those rooting for the Steelers are more into the commercials and halftime show. Those rooting for the Steelers are more likely to look forward to the commercials (66% vs. 58%) and the halftime show (45% vs. 27%), while those rooting for the Packers are more likely to say they don’t pay any attention the commercials (11% vs. 4%) or to the halftime show (31% vs. 20%).

    So What?

    The Super Bowl may be the one televised event where the commercials are eagerly anticipated. Advertisers look forward to the Super Bowl to roll out the ads they know will get people talking. The next day there is a lot of discussion about game day, but chances are the balance of the conversation will quickly shift from the game itself to the commercials. Favorites are categorized, and there is always that one commercial that makes people say what were they thinking! Advertising can have two effects – longer term brand positioning impact or a shorter term call to action. Super Bowl ads live on in the digital space long after they air on television – so do they have the ability to do both?

    TABLE 1

    WATCHING THE SUPER BOWL

    Which of the following best describes where you will be while watching the Super Bowl?

    Base: All adults

    TOTAL

    Gender

    Team Preference

    Male

    Female

    Rooting for Steelers

    Rooting for Packers

    Just enjoy Super Bowl

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    WATCHING THE SUPER BOWL (NET)

    69

    75

    63

    100

    100

    100

    I will be hosting friends and/or family at my house

    14

    16

    13

    22

    26

    14

    I will be joining friends and/or family at someone else’s house

    14

    15

    12

    27

    26

    18

    I have other plans for watching the Super Bowl (e.g., at a bar, restaurant)

    4

    4

    3

    6

    6

    3

    I am not sure what my plans are yet, but I do plan to watch the Super Bowl

    38

    40

    35

    45

    51

    65

    I will not be watching the Super Bowl

    31

    25

    37

    Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

     

     


    TABLE 2

    SUPER BOWL ADS

    Now I would like to ask you about advertising on the Super Bowl. Of the following statements, which best describes your opinion of Super Bowl ads?

    Base: Plan to watch the Super Bowl

    Total

    Team Preference

    Rooting for

    Steelers

    Rooting for

    Packers

    Just enjoy Super Bowl

    %

    %

    %

    %

    I look forward to watching Super Bowl ads

    59

    66

    58

    54

    I don’t necessarily look forward to Super Bowl ads, but I enjoy watching them when they come on

    30

    27

    28

    36

    I don’t pay any special attention to Super Bowl ads

    8

    4

    11

    8

    I wish they didn’t have advertising on the Super Bowl

    3

    3

    3

    3

    Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

     

     

     

    TABLE 3

    SUPER BOWL HALFTIME SHOW

    Of the following statements, which best describes your feelings about the Super Bowl halftime show?

    Base: Plan to watch the Super Bowl

    Total

    Gender

    Team Preference

    Men

    Women

    Rooting for

    Steelers

    Rooting for

    Packers

    Just enjoy Super Bowl

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    I look forward to watching the halftime show

    33

    29

    37

    45

    27

    29

    I don’t necessarily look forward to the halftime show, but I enjoy watching it once it comes on

    27

    23

    32

    26

    29

    28

    I don’t pay any special attention to the halftime show

    29

    35

    23

    20

    31

    35

    I think the halftime show is a distraction from the main event and could do without it

    10

    13

    7

    10

    13

    8

    Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.


    TABLE 4

    STEELERS OR PACKERS FANS?

    Which team are you rooting for?

    Base: Plan to watch Super Bowl

    TOTAL

    Hosting friends/family for Super Bowl

    Watching at Someone’s house

    Unsure of Plans

    %

    %

    %

    %

    PACKERS (NET)

    38

    48

    31

    35

    I am a Green Bay Packers fan

    14

    19

    10

    12

    I am not a regular fan, but I am rooting for the Packers in the Super Bowl

    24

    28

    21

    23

    STEELERS (NET)

    28

    29

    38

    23

    I am not a regular fan, but I am rooting for the Steelers in the Super Bowl

    15

    11

    21

    13

    I am a Pittsburgh Steelers fan

    13

    19

    17

    10

    I’m not rooting for either team. I just enjoy the Super Bowl

    34

    23

    31

    41

    Note: Percentages may not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding

     

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between January 25 to 27, 2011 among 2,516 adults (aged 18 and over) of whom 1,682 plan to watch the Super Bowl. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

     

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

     

    The Harris Poll ® #14, February 3, 2011

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth and Education Research, Harris Interactive

    About Harris Interactive

    Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.