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Super Bowl consumer spending will dip

News, 26 January 2017
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WASHINGTON, DC: Consumers watching next month's Super Bowl are expected to spend a total of $14.1bn around the game, down 9% on last year's figure, according to the National Retail Federation.

The trade organization's annual Super Bowl Spending Survey, which asked 7,591 consumers about their Super Bowl plans, found that viewership will be similar to last year – 188.5m compared to 188.9m – but average spending per person will drop to $75 from $82.

Among those planning to watch the game (76% of those surveyed), food and drink are the primary purchase considerations, with eight in ten buying these items.

Eleven per cent indicated they would buy team apparel or accessories, and 8% were in the market for a new television to watch the game at home.

And home, someone's home, is where most people will be. Some 45m people will host a Super Bowl party, the NRF said, while 27% of respondents planned on attending a party. More than 12m prefer to watch the game at a bar or restaurant, it added.

The commercials have become a significant part of the evening. For 43% of viewers, the game itself is the most important thing, but 24% cited the commercials; 15% simply want to hang out with friends, and 12% said the half-time show is the highlight.

Brands are spending big for the airtime – $5m for 30 seconds – that enables them to reach such a huge audience, but the effectiveness may be limited.

Only 10% of those surveyed said the commercials influence them to purchase products. Brand awareness is more likely to be the primary aim of many advertisers, but just 18% of respondents thought Super Bowl ads achieved this. The majority (78%) watch the commercials simply for entertainment.

A minority take a different view: 16% said advertisers should save their money and pass the savings along to the consumers, and 10% complained that the commercials make the game last too long.

Data sourced from NRF; additional content by Warc staff

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