Super Bowl Ads As Important to Viewers As the Game

Super Bowl Ads As Important to Viewers As the Game

Commercials will be a big draw for Super Bowl LVI viewers on Feb. 13
a group of friends watches TV

The Los Angeles Rams will face the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13, but for many viewers, the NFL teams aren't the reason they'll watch the game.

In a new survey from advertising and marketing agency HAVEN, 80% of U.S. adults say they plan to watch the upcoming Super Bowl. But those who don't have a team in the game still have a reason to tune in: the commercials.

Super Bowl LVI: Football vs. commercials

This year’s divisional round two weekends ago had record-breaking viewership, which could bode well for the NFL after last year’s Super Bowl had the lowest TV viewership since 2007. But 61% of those who plan to watch tell HAVEN they're at least as interested in the ads as they are in the game. Here's how interest breaks down among those who plan to watch:

  • 61% will watch equally or more for the commercials
  • 40% watch for both the commercials and the game
  • 21% watch exclusively or primarily for the commercials, versus 18% exclusively for the game

While most women (72%) report being more likely to be interested in commercials than the game, half of men report that ads are at least as enjoyable as the game. Despite that difference, HAVEN reports that the majority of people across all demographics, including age, region, income or education level, say they're excited to watch ads.

Commercials won't be the only form of entertainment viewers partake in during the game. Most say they'll interact with others during the Super Bowl, whether in person or not. According to the survey, 72% of all viewers say they'll interact with others face-to-face, while nearly half (47%) plan to connect on social media. That social media percentage jumps to 62% for viewers younger than 45.

Of course, other big-name entertainers are a draw for viewers, too. The halftime show headliners will feature Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, while Grammy-nominated artist Mickey Guyton will sing the national anthem.

Game day ads and spending

Advertisers spent big money to draw audiences this year. NBCUniversal announced Thursday that it has sold all its spots for the Super Bowl, which were booking for a record-high $7 million for 30 seconds.

This year's big name advertisers will include Doritos, Budweiser and Lay's, all food and beverage brands that consumers may consider staples on game day. In a 2021 study, adults in the U.S. planned to spend an average of nearly $75 on Super Bowl Sunday, with food and beverages being the most common purchases.

According to Wells Fargo, inflation pricing may result in game-day spending increasing by 8% to 14% this year. The biggest expense, however, will be taken on by consumers who watch the game in person, with the lowest price tickets starting at record-highs of around $5,800 to $7,000 a person.

Methodology: HAVEN commissioned The Harris Poll to conduct an online survey of 2,055 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, fielded Jan. 13-18, 2022. Of this group, 1,598 plan to watch the Super Bowl.