Super Bowl Ads Take Equal Billing to Game in 2009, According to Hanon McKendry Poll

Viewers also say Super Bowl ads drive Web traffic

Jan 29, 2009, 12:27 ET from Hanon McKendry

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Super Bowl ads remain a big draw for viewers, with over 54 percent of U.S. adults who expect to watch Super Bowl XLIII planning to tune in as much or more for the commercials as for the game. According to the latest Hanon McKendry poll conducted by Harris Interactive(R), 72 percent of U.S. adults plan to watch Super Bowl XLIII, up from 68 percent in 2008, with 34 percent of those anticipated viewers watching equally for the ads as for the game and 21 percent tuning in exclusively or predominantly for the commercials.

The 2009 poll also found that 30 percent of Super Bowl viewers say they are more likely to visit an advertiser's Web site after seeing a Super Bowl commercial.

"This poll affirms the power of traditional broadcast advertising," stated Bill McKendry, founder and chief creative officer at Hanon McKendry/The Brand Consultants. "It also suggests a strong synergy between television and the Web. Not only are Super Bowl ads drawing people to the game, they're driving Web traffic. And the growing role of the Web in Super Bowl campaigns is generating even more interest in the commercials themselves."

McKendry noted a historic correlation. "When commercial television broadcasting took off in the '50s, everyone predicted it would be the death of radio. In reality, TV has generated more interest in music and radio personalities. That same synergy is happening today between the Web and TV, including television advertising."

The Hanon McKendry survey aims to quantify the draw of Super Bowl commercials among the more than 90 million anticipated viewers(1). Now in its fourth year, the poll found response similar to that of 2008, when 57 percent of U.S. adult viewers planned to watch as much or more for the ads. The query that gets at viewers' likelihood to visit Super Bowl advertisers' Web sites is new in 2009. This year's poll results are reflective of actual 2008 post-Super Bowl online activity, when advertisers saw a 24 percent increase in Web traffic the day after the big game, a year when game viewership was at an all-time high(1).

Building on the synergy between TV and Web, Hanon McKendry has launched , where visitors can vote on their favorite Super Bowl ads after each quarter and get real-time results as soon as they submit their votes. Ads that come out on top among online voters will be listed immediately after the game.

The 2009 survey also confirms consistently high interest in the Super Bowl and the ads among women.

-- The overall percentage of women who plan to watch the Super Bowl is up from 60% in 2008 to 67% in 2009, with the percentage of female viewers who will tune in as much or more for the ads remaining fairly constant -- 62% in 2009 vs. 65% in 2008.

-- At 36% (male) and 31% (female), a consistently high percentage of men and women who plan to watch say they'll do so equally for the game and the commercials.

-- Female viewers are nearly three times more likely than male viewers to watch primarily for the commercials (31% of female viewers vs. 11% of male viewers).

(1) In its annual Guide to the Super Bowl, The Nielsen Company reports that Super Bowl XLII drew a record average viewership of 97.5 million, up from 93.2 million in 2007 and exceeding the previous viewership record of 94.08 million set in 1996. The Nielsen Guide also reports that Super Bowl advertisers saw a 24 percent jump in Web traffic the day after the 2008 game.

The Survey

Harris Interactive conducted this online survey within the U.S. on behalf of Hanon McKendry between Jan. 21 and Jan. 23, 2009 among 2,333 adults ages 18+, of whom 1,093 were men and 1,240 were women. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Amy LeFebre.

The Firms

Hanon McKendry is a national brand consulting, advertising and marketing firm that excels at helping clients shift perceptions beyond what their brands offer to what their brands mean. Nearly 80 percent of the firm's annual revenues are derived from major initiatives to launch, re-launch or restage brands. Hanon McKendry has worked extensively with high-profile corporate clients including Rayovac Batteries, Rubbermaid Home Products, 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 a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit .

SOURCE Hanon McKendry