Life after the Super Bowl: More than half follow up viewing with action

    NEW YORK, N.Y. – March 4, 2011 – Everybody from advertising pundits to football fans have weighed in on their most recalled and best liked ads; but before memories of near-record snows and second-half surges are replaced by March Madness, it’s worth understanding what advertisers appear to have gotten for their investment. The vast majority of those who watched any of the Super Bowl ads didn’t find this year’s crop quite up to expectation: 41% of those who watched the ads found them to be on par with last years, but nearly as many (36%) found them to be somewhat or much worse. That being said, 53% of those recalling any ad claimed to take some follow-up action, with fully 18% spreading the word, good or bad, on social networking sites.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,469 adults surveyed online between February 9 and 11, 2011 by Harris Interactive. During this same timeframe, we also turned to our panel of Research Lifestreamers (20,000+ members of our Harris Poll panel who have agreed to let us listen to their unguarded social networking conversations) to help us understand the context behind the numbers in the Harris Poll, and adding insight into the post-game online conversations.

    Engagement with the advertising

    This year’s game proved to be a real contest, becoming more exciting as the game progressed; 61% of Americans were tuned in during the 4th quarter, so it’s not surprising that most viewers claim to have watched at least half of the ads; 22% said they didn’t miss a single one. But just because viewers are sticking with the ads doesn’t mean they like them: only 41% of those thought this years’ crop was on par with prior years.

    Advertisers have long known that a good game enhances the chance that their ad will be seen; what they may not have recognized, though, is that a good contest with an engaged fan base enhances the chances that their ads will be liked: 27% of Steeler fans and 24% of Packer fans rated the ads as superior to last year’s, vs. 16% of the uncommitted.

    Social networking coming on strong as a follow-up activity

    Within a few days of watching the Superbowl, by far the most common follow-up action is the water cooler conversation: over one-quarter of those recalling any ads discussed at least one advertised brand face-to-face (28%), followed by 17% who say they are considering a brand and 14% who claim to have purchased an advertised brand. But worth noting is the surge of actions on social networking sites, which began during the game and continued for days afterward: within days, 8% say they had commented about an advertised brand on Facebook, the same number liked a brand; 5% commented on a blog or forum, the same percentage tweeted. As an interesting aside, Steeler fans were two to three times more likely than Packers fans to have taken to the social networks to discuss a Super Bowl-advertised brand.

    Word of network (WONSM): Chrysler takes Michigan, but not remaining US

    Not even among the top 10 most recalled ads, Chrysler (23% of posts) was a close second only to Doritos (24%) in driving Facebook conversations, and the highest in driving positive sentiment post-game (.53).

    However, since Research Lifestreamers are Harris Poll Online panelists, we know a battery of facts about them, including where they live: while we may have anticipated some bias, we found that 41% of the FB conversations about Chrysler were originated by Michiganders, who reacted overwhelmingly and emotionally to a documentary about their city. In fact, so many Michiganders weighed in on the Chrysler ad that 14% of all FB posts on Superbowl advertising originated from the state of Michigan…only California and Texas were more active. Michiganders also drove positive post-game sentiment for Chrysler (.67 in Michigan vs. .39 in the remaining US).

    Doritos advertising proved to be somewhat polarizing: the finger-licking spot turned enough people off to neutralize positive reaction to the other two ads, yielding post-game sentiment score of only .24. Rounding out the top 5 buzzed-about brands were Groupon, Bridgestone and Volkswagen.

    So What?

    Super Bowl viewers expect to be entertained by the advertising as well as by the game, and this year the former fell somewhat short. However, there were a number of wins: mass supermarket brands sometimes maintain and excel in keeping themselves fresh with offbeat executions that drive near-term purchasing and ongoing chatter. Brands with longer purchase cycles, such as Volkswagen and Chrysler, are hoping that positive emotional associations, whether playful or searing, will not overshadow the brand, but will change perception and keep them top of mind until the viewer is ready to buy. While they are waiting for sales to confirm the correctness of their strategy, online conversations will continue to provide some interim indications of success.

     

    TABLE 1

    APPEAL OF SUPER BOWL ADVERTISEMENTS

    Overall, would you say this year’s Super Bowl ads were….

    Base: Watched Any Super Bowl Ads

    Total

    Team Supported

    Rooting For Steelers

    Rooting For Packers

    Neither team – just enjoyed watching

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Much/Somewhat Better (NET)

    23

    27

    24

    16

    Much better than last year’s

    5

    10

    4

    1

    Somewhat better than last year’s

    18

    17

    20

    15

    Neither better nor worse than last year’s

    41

    37

    40

    47

    Much/Somewhat Worse (NET)

    36

    36

    36

    37

    Somewhat worse than last year’s

    26

    23

    27

    26

    Much worse than last year’s

    11

    13

    9

    12

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

     

    TABLE 2

    WATCHED SUPER BOWL

    Now we would like to ask you some questions about the Super Bowl. About how much of the Super Bowl game did you watch? Please select all that apply.

    Base: All Adults

    Total

    %

    Watched Super Bowl (NET)

    71

    All or some of the 1st Quarter

    54

    All or some of the 2nd Quarter

    53

    All or some of the Halftime show

    51

    All or some of the 3rd Quarter

    53

    All or some of the 4th Quarter

    61

    I did not watch any part of the Super Bowl.

    29

    Note: Multiple responses accepted

    TABLE 3

    SUPER BOWL ADVERTISEMENT VIEWERSHIP

    How many of the Superbowl ads would you say you watched?

    Base: Watched Super Bowl

    Total

    %

    Watched Any Super Bowl Ads (NET)

    91

    More Than Half (SUB-NET)

    55

    Watched all of the ads

    22

    More Than Half But Not All (SUB-SUB-NET)

    33

    10

    8

    9

    13

    8

    9

    7

    4

    Watched Half Or Fewer (SUB-NET)

    36

    Watched half of the ads

    21

    5

    3

    4

    5

    3

    5

    2

    2

    Did not watch any of the ads

    9

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

     

    TABLE 4

    SUMMARY: ACTIONS TAKEN AS A RESULT OF SUPER BOWL ADVERTISEMENT VIEWERSHIP

    Which of the following actions, if any, have you taken or do you intend to take with regard to any

    of the brands you’ve seen advertised during the Super Bowl?

    Summary Of Those Who Have Taken/Intend to Take Action

    Base: Recall Any Super Bowl Ads

    Total

    Team Supported

    Rooting For Steelers

    Rooting For Packers

    Neither team – just enjoyed watching

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Have already taken/intend to take any action

    53

    61

    53

    43

    Have already/intend to consider or purchase the brand

    43

    51

    42

    35

    Have already/intend to take any active social networking action

    18

    27

    17

    11

    Note: Net of Comment about the brand on my Facebook page; Like the brand on Facebook; Comment about the brand in a blog or forum; Tweet about the brand.

     

    TABLE 5

    ACTIONS TAKEN AS A RESULT OF SUPER BOWL ADVERTISEMENT VIEWERSHIP

    Which of the following actions, if any, have you taken or do you intend to take with regard to any

    of the brands you’ve seen advertised during the Super Bowl?

    Summary Of Those Who Have Taken Action

    Base: Recall Any Super Bowl Ads

    Total

    Team Supported

    Rooting For Steelers

    Rooting For Packers

    Neither team – just enjoyed watching

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Talk about the brand with someone else in person

    28

    34

    29

    19

    Consider the brand

    17

    22

    16

    13

    Purchase the brand

    14

    23

    13

    8

    Tell someone else about the brand in an email or text message

    11

    15

    11

    7

    Visit the brand’s website

    10

    17

    9

    6

    Search for information about the brand

    9

    15

    7

    5

    Comment about the brand on my Facebook page

    8

    15

    8

    2

    Like the brand on Facebook

    8

    16

    6

    2

    Comment about the brand in a blog or forum

    5

    12

    4

    3

    Tweet about the brand

    5

    10

    3

    2

    Follow the brand on Twitter

    4

    10

    2

    1

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

    TABLE 6

    POSTGAME VOLUME AND SENTIMENT

    Base: Research Lifestreamers

    % of Verbatims

    Sentiment Score

    Doritos

    24.34

    0.24

    Chrysler

    22.49

    0.53

    Groupon

    12.43

    -0.25

    Bridgestone

    9.79

    0.44

    Volkswagen

    9.26

    0.09

    Budweiser

    6.08

    0.05

    Snickers

    5.29

    0.51

    eTrade

    4.76

    -0.39

    Chevy Camaro

    4.50

    0

    Bud Light

    3.17

    0.17

     

    CHART 1

    VOLUME OF SUPERBOWL AD POSTS, DURING AND POST GAME


    CHART 2

    VOLUME OF CHRYSLER SUPERBOWL AD POSTS, DURING AND POST GAME

     

     

    CHART 3

    SENTIMENT TOWARD CHRYSLER SUPERBOWL AD, DURING AND POST GAME


     

    Note : Sentiment is a metric that defines the emotional feeling of a word. The sentiment values range from negative to positive, increasing in intensity at both ends of the scale.

    1. The Positive range is from +1.0 to +5.0, and includes only parts of conversations that have a positive sense. As the positive sentiment score increases in value, the intensity of the sentiment increases in value.

    2. The Negative range is from -1.0 to -5.0, and contains includes only parts of conversations that have a negative sense. As the negative sentiment score increases in negative value, the intensity of the sentiment increases in value.

    3. The Neutral range is around 0 of the axis. This contains parts of conversations that have a neutral sense.

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between February 9 and 11, 2011 among 2,469 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.

    Research Lifestreamers are Harris Poll Online panelists who have given us permission to listen in to their private conversations on their social networks. 24,120 Lifestreamers were observed before, during and after the Super Bowl. These data focus on conversations held on February 7 and 8, 2011.

    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 ® #30, March 4, 2011

    By Joan Sinopoli, SVP, Senior Consultant, Brand and Communications Consulting, 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.