Feb 9, 2018

Super Bowl LII: Ad Reactions & Shopper Behavior

football field

Ah, the Super Bowl. An exciting time for fans, players, and perhaps most of all: brands. Like proud peacocks, this is their time to show off their plumage, and establish (or reshape) their identity with some creative and impactful advertising.

Here at InfoScout, we love examining how brands interact with the world – and how shoppers react in turn. Now, with the aid of our partners at Competitrack, we have a new opportunity to explore this exciting realm through the lens of the Super Bowl and its ads. As we write this, we’re busy analyzing pre- and post-Super Bowl purchase behavior to measure the ROI for brands who chose to advertise during this year’s big game. We’re excited to share those findings in a future post.

Super Bowl Ads: Reactions
To get started, we surveyed nearly 13,000 shoppers from our InfoScout purchase panel (who indicated that they watched this year’s Super Bowl) to find out which CPG and Consumer Electronics ads they found the funniest, most annoying, most emotionally impactful, and perhaps most importantly, which ads had the best brand recall.

This year’s funniest award went to Amazon, with Alexa’s missing voice spot starring Jeff Bezos, closely followed by Danny Devito dressed as an M&M. Coming in third was the epic rap battle between Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman, courtesy of Mountain Dew and Doritos. For the “Most Emotionally Impactful” ad, Anheuser-Busch took the prize, introducing a heart-tugger including actual company employees.

For “Most Annoying,” our panelists called out Tide for their multi-commercial format. But, it’s not all bad, as the brand also received the highest percentage of unaided recall out of any advertiser. I guess you could say it was a little bit of an upside down night for David Harbour (Stranger Things) and Tide.

And without further ado, which ad was THE best of the best for our shoppers? That’s right – Mountain Dew and Doritos’ hybrid, star-studded commercial was liked by 83% of our panel – the highest out of any brand, and just narrowly edging out M&M’s and Amazon.


Super Bowl Watchers
Super Bowl viewers are more than just die-hard fans who buy extra beer and chips before the game. In reality, this group is a more valuable group of shoppers than non-Super Bowl watchers year-round. They spend 9% more per year on core CPG products and Consumer Electronics than people who do not watch the Super Bowl. They skew toward affluent, non-Caucasian Gen-Xers, who tend to live in Urban settings, and have bigger households (4-7 people).


Costco, Spirits, and Corona (oh my!)
Super Bowl watchers over-index with Costco, which captures 6% of this group’s annual spend. Target, Sam’s Club, Publix, Ahold, and Albertsons also over-index with this group. Surprisingly, Walmart loses here, under-indexing with this valuable group of shoppers.


So what categories and brands do Super Bowl watchers buy? Well, they love their alcoholic beverages (beer, wine and spirits), seafood, and televisions. And when it comes to specific brands, they over-index on Corona, Miller, Coors, Claritin, and Banana Boat. Sounds like a party in the making!

Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll analyze whether these ads actually had an effect on post-Super Bowl purchase behavior.