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Super Bowl Commercials Still Draw Their Own Audience

More viewers will go online to find out about brands

For one-quarter of Super Bowl viewers this year, the game won’t be the draw, the commercials will be. According to a January survey from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), conducted by BIGinsight, the commercials were the second-biggest reason for tuning in, cited as the most important part of the experience by more respondents than getting together with friends or the halftime show.

Even those tuning in for the game itself are highly likely to be receptive to commercials. More than three-quarters of respondents told BIGinsight they viewed the commercials as entertainment, up from 73% last year—however, only 10.5% said they were actually influenced to buy as a result of the spots.

This year, advertisers are continuing to emphasize the multiscreen effect, with companies expecting their TV ads during the game to drive viewers to further online engagement.

Consumers conceded that the commercials are persuading more of them to investigate brands on the web, with nearly 9% reporting that Super Bowl ads would influence them to do an online search, up from approximately 7% over the past three years.

Males reported a higher likelihood than women of going online after watching Super Bowl commercials, at just over one out of 10.

According to CBS, TV spots this year will be priced at an average of $3.8 million for a 30-second ad. That’s up from $3.5 million in 2012. CBS CEO Les Moonves told Bloomberg Businesweek online engagement was a specific factor in the increased rates, saying, “The advertisers expect they’ll get a nice bump online, so it’s well worth the increase.”

Kantar Media in January released estimates finding that the four Super Bowl televised broadcasts—the game itself, the pre-kick show, kick-off show and post-kick show—were the top four single-telecast programs last year.

Moreover, the audience commercial tuneaway was 0.7% during the 2012 game, vs. 3% to 4% for normal TV programming, according to Kantar’s research.

At a whopping 111 million viewers for Super Bowl XLVI, and a receptive audience actually looking forward to commercials, it’s no surprise that rates keep rising—and advertisers keep ponying up.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Pandora's Goal: Be Ubiquitous” and “Smartphone Buying on the Rise in Norway.”

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