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Surprise! Most People Watch the Super Bowl for the Commercials

Thursday, January 21, 2010 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 9:01 AM, under ,

Nielsen has come out with results of a study that shows that 51% of the annual Super Bowl audience tunes in for the commercials, and not the game. This is interesting because the ratings an event draws drives the prices advertisers pay for an ad placement. So does this mean that the more successful an ad is at drawing eyeballs to the game, they more they will pay the next year?

Here is a bit of what Nielsen said yesterday:

The majority of Super Bowl viewers enjoy the game’s ads more than the action on the field, according to results of a survey released today by The Nielsen Company. Fifty-one percent of those questioned said they most enjoy the commercials that air throughout the game when compared to the Super Bowl game itself. Forty-nine percent said that they enjoy the game more than the ads. Results were based on a sample of more than 25,000 households in Nielsen’s Homescan panel.

“This survey reinforces the value of the Super Bowl as a marketing bonanza, featuring one of the most receptive TV audiences in the world,” said Randall Beard, executive vice president of Nielsen IAG. “With so many viewers waiting for the pitch, the pressure is on advertisers to create and place ads that will have a lasting impact.”

Not surprisingly, the study also shows that viewers eventually suffer "ad fatigue" as the game goes on, and that the later the ad airs, the lower the return on investment.

Nielsen Media Graph tracking Super Bowl ad effectiveness

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