Super Bowl Ads Get Mixed Signals From 'Cautious Consumerism'

Consumer confidence rose in December 2016 and dipped 2% in January 2017, but the numbers remain at record highs, according to Prosper Insights & Analytics, which keeps tabs on sentiment and confidence ratings.

Prosper took a reading on the American economy in January. The snapshot shows that consumer confidence in the economy cooled to 52.3% in January, dropping 2% from the 14-year-high recorded in December 2016. January's reading represents a 23% increase year over year, and remains above the average of 45.5%.

Still, 37.2% of consumers say they will become more practical with purchases, whereas 42.8% say they will focus on what they need rather than what they want.

Three in four consumers say the state of the economy will impact their lifestyles into 2022. More than one third of consumers are optimistic for a rebound for the U.S. economy -- a percentage that rose more than 6% from a year ago. About 38% are unsure what to think about a rebound -- a slightly lower percentage than last year's record high. The good news is that pessimism continues to decline. Fewer than one in four are not holding out for a new rebound, dropping to a new low.

As we head into the Super Bowl season, the big question becomes how the economy will impact on advertisers as they distribute budgets around the Big Game. Search advertising has become the companion of television ads running during the Super Bowl.

The National Retail Federation (NFR) estimates that 188.5 million will watch the Atlanta Falcons face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl LI on February 5. Of the 78% of viewers who watch the commercials for entertainment, 18% say the commercials make them more aware of the advertiser’s brand, but only 10% admit that the commercials influence them to purchase products. About 16% say advertisers should save their money and pass the savings along to the consumers, and 10% say the commercials make the game last too long.

Advertisers should study their market and learn the best ways to connect with their customer before and during the Super Bowl, said Ana Serafin Smith, senior director of media relations at the NRF. "The most successful ones follow a combination of online, mobile, out-of-home, print and TV ad campaigns," she said.

Aside from 43% of viewers saying the most important part is the game, nearly a quarter -- 24% -- cite the commercials as being the most important part. Another 15% say it's most important to have time to spend with friends, and 12% state that the half-time show is their top highlight.

The NRF estimates that the average consumer will spend $75 each for a total of $14.1 billion to participate in some way in the Super Bowl LI on February 5.

The NRF survey -- conducted January 4 through 11, with help from Prosper Insights & Analytics -- asked 7,591 consumers about their Super Bowl plans.

Of the 76% of those surveyed who plan to watch the game, 80% say they will purchase food and beverages, 11% will buy team apparel or accessories, and 8% will even splurge on new televisions to watch the game at home.

About 45 million people hosting a Super Bowl party should expect a full house, with 27% planning to attend a party. Bars and restaurants can also expect a good turnout with 12.4 million people planning to head out to watch at their favorite local spot.



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