Poll: Viewers Want Laughs, Not Politics In Super Bowl Ads

It’s one of the world’s most popular annual sporting events --0 yet almost as many people watch the Super Bowl for the ads as for the National Football League championship game itself. That’s according to a new poll by Omnicom’s Dallas-based The Marketing Arm, one of the largest buyers of celebrity talent for SB commercials.

The poll, based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents in August, found 43% watched the Big Game for the commercials, while 57% watched primarily for the game. But women are far more likely to watch it for the ads (60%). Thus, brands that seek to target women would seem to have a captive and interested audience.

Nearly all viewers want Big Game ads to make them laugh (97%). And the majority (71%) would prefer that advertisers stay away from political messages. Most viewers (70%) just want to sit back and enjoy the ads. They do not wish to interact or be called upon to take an action like posting or voting.



Consistent Big Game advertisers are the brands that viewers most look forward to seeing in the game, according to the poll, giving those brands a distinct advantage over first-time and newer advertisers.

The top-10 brands viewers most look forward to seeing in the Big Game (in order) are Budweiser, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Doritos, Nike, Bud Light, Apple, Amazon, Mountain Dew and M&Ms.

More than half of all viewers prefer Big Game commercials with celebrities (54%). The preference is even greater among Black (68%) and Hispanic (62%) viewers.

The top-8 celebrities viewers most want to see in SB ads (in order) are Dwayne Johnson, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Kevin Hart, Taylor Swift, Drake, Britney Spears and Ryan Reynolds.

Celebrities that viewers most remember seeing in an SB ad: Beyonce, Matthew McConaughey, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Betty White, Cardi B, Peyton Manning, Dwayne Johnson and Jennifer Lopez.

And using a spot that’s already been on the air isn’t going to improve your chances of topping the USA Today poll of most popular Super Bowl ads. An overwhelming majority (89%) would prefer to see a Big Game ad for the first time during the game—something to consider when developing pre-game amplification strategies.

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