Super Bowl Commercials: How Effective are They?

Super Bowl commercials have as much pressure to perform as the NFL players vying for the big win on game day. We expect ads that air during the Super Bowl to do more than just bide the time between quarters: they must entertain us, relieve us from the stress of the game, make us laugh, and in some cases, cause us to think. But of course, no company is going to shell out upwards of $3.5 million only to amuse us for less than a minute while we’re refilling our drinks before watching the next touchdown: they must also appeal to Americans as consumers, increasing brand loyalty and propelling them to buy a product. Otherwise, the commercial becomes by and large fairly useless.

So, the real question: is there a correlation between popular Super Bowl ads and an increase in company sales? For automotive company Chrysler, that was certainly the case last year. With an emotive monologue by Clint Eastwood promoting the city of Detroit and elucidating the struggles of the recession, Chrysler’s ad was number one amongst car brands during the Super Bowl, and their sales saw double-digit increases on a month-to-month basis compared to the year prior (Source).

In Chrysler’s case, using a celebrity in their Super Bowl ad was effective. But according to consumer reactions gauged through market research, a celebrity can’t be the main attraction in an ad: it’s gimmicky, and viewers want more than product endorsement from someone famous. More and more, Super Bowl commercials are expected to tell stories – stories that appeal to us on a psychological level and provoke us to purchase products.

Let us know: What were your favorite 2012 Super Bowl commercials? And what do you want to see this year? We’re eagerly waiting to see what all the big name companies are getting ready to roll out as we root the Ravens on in New Orleans.

Looking to test an ad yourself?  Contact the Research Group Facility, Observation Baltimore! Reach out to Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! If you’d like to participate in one of our focus groups, please sign up at

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 at 7:22 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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