Super Bowl Ads Rival Game in 2011, According to Hanon McKendry Poll Conducted by Harris Interactive

While anticipated Super Bowl viewership dropped, number of viewers who expect to "chat" about the ads online increased by 6 percent

Jan 31, 2011, 08:30 ET from Hanon McKendry

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite a slight drop in anticipated viewership, Super Bowl ads remain a big draw for viewers, with 54 percent of U.S. adults who expect to watch Super Bowl XLV planning to tune in as much or more for the commercials as for the game.  

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According to the latest Hanon McKendry poll conducted online this month by Harris Interactive®, 68 percent of U.S. adults plan to watch Super Bowl XLV, a 3 percentage point drop from 2010.  Despite the small drop, the survey found a 6 percentage point jump in the number of respondents who say they are at least somewhat likely to discuss the ads on a social networking site.  This figure rose from 48 percent in 2010 to 54 percent in 2011.

"The significant finding this year is the strong growth in anticipated engagement with Super Bowl advertising on social media channels," said Bill McKendry, founder and chief creative officer at Hanon McKendry.  "We're seeing the fusion of social media with broadcast media, broadcast events and live events everywhere in the communications and advertising industry."  

Building on trends that fuse online with broadcast events, MINDSCAPE, Hanon McKendry's digital brand engagement team, launched Super Ad Poll in 2009, where visitors can vote for their favorite Super Bowl ads and get real-time results throughout the game.  New this year, Hanon McKendry will award the Super Big Thumbs Up trophy to the advertiser whose commercial scores highest in the 2011 online game-day poll.  People can sign up for a reminder to vote and instructions on voting by text, mobile site or Twitter at  

While interest in Super Bowl commercials remains strong among both men and women, the 2011 Hanon McKendry survey confirms highest interest in Super Bowl ads among women:

  • A significantly higher percentage of women than men who plan to watch the Super Bowl will do so at least as much for the commercials as for the game—65 percent of female vs. just over 45 percent of male viewers.
  • Female viewers are 2 times more likely than male viewers to watch exclusively or predominantly for the commercials—25 percent of female viewers vs. 12 percent of male viewers.

The Hanon McKendry survey aims to quantify the draw of Super Bowl commercials among the more than 100 million anticipated viewers (1). Now in its sixth year, the survey has consistently found that over half of U.S. adult viewers planned to watch as much or more for the ads, with numbers ranging from 54 percent in 2009 to 57 percent last year.  

(1)The Nielsen Company estimates that Super Bowl XLIV drew a record 106 million viewers, up from 98.7 million in 2009, making it the most watched program in U.S. television history.

The Survey

Harris Interactive fielded the study on behalf of Hanon McKendry between Jan. 11 and Jan. 13, 2011, via its QuickQuery (SM) online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,026 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.  The sample included 975 men and 1,047 women.  Data were weighted using propensity score weighting to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. Data for questions related to online use or behaviors were weighted specifically to the respective "online" populations. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.  For complete survey methodology, please contact Amy LeFebre,

The Firms

Hanon McKendry/Integrated Brand Connections is a multi-platform branding firm that helps clients weave all their customer interactions together into one seamless brand experience.  Services are scalable, based on client needs, through distinct specialty teams: IRON (Brand Positioning), DESIGN CULTURE STUDIOS (Brand Design) and MINDSCAPE (Brand Engagement).  Hanon McKendry has worked extensively with high-profile corporate clients including Rayovac Batteries, Rubbermaid Home Products, Furniture Row Shopping Centers, Cole's Quality Foods, Wilsonart and Zondervan (a division of Harper/Collins Publishing).  The firm has also earned national recognition for its cause and issue-based campaigns and brand development for clients such as the Alliance Defense Fund, Salvation Army, National Arbor Day Foundation, World Vision, Young Life, Focus on the Family and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.  Hanon McKendry is a Gravity Six Alliance partner. / /

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us—and our clients—stay ahead of what's next.  For more information, please visit

SOURCE Hanon McKendry