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Sporting events, along with awards shows and a few other types of programming, stand out in a world of on-demand video as the last bastions of mass appointment-viewing. In the US especially, the Super Bowl is still a must-see-on-TV. And while many consumers are typically happy to zip their way through ads on their DVR, that’s not how they feel about commercials during the big football game.
According to November 2014 research from YuMe, 79% of US internet users said they watched ads during the Super Bowl because it was an integral part of the experience. Tradition still rules for nearly eight in 10 respondents. Fewer than a quarter said the ads were just unavoidable.
The Super Bowl audience is attractive to advertisers for several reasons. Not only is it large, but according to research released in January 2015 from GfK MRI, Super Bowl viewers are 29% more likely than the average US adult to have an annual household income of $150,000 or more, 25% more likely to be in business management and 24% more likely to have a net worth of at least $1 million. Super Bowl viewers also spend more than average on eating out, big vacations and more.
Advertisers don’t just want to be talked about around the water cooler, though—real-time engagement with Super Bowl ads on social media is a major factor in the world since Oreo managed to capitalize on the blackout at the 2013 game.
Crowdtap surveyed US internet users who planned to watch the Super Bowl in January 2015 about what drove their game-day behaviors. Among a mostly female respondent base, 29.6% said they were primarily going to watch the game for the ads. And more than 70% said they were either somewhat or extremely likely to take some kind of social media action because of ads, including sharing a photo, tweeting or using a hashtag.
What would get them to share those ads via social networks? According to the Crowdtap research, nearly seven in 10 would do so simply because it was a “great ad.” Just over half wanted to share info about new or exciting products, or to support brands they liked. For brands looking to make an impact, 85.4% of respondents said humor was what made ads memorable for them.
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