Super Bowl 2020 kicks off this Sunday and, as usual, numerous brands will vie for attention of football fans, but a new survey suggests campaign teams fighting the presidential election would be advised not to advertise during the game.

Both President Trump and Michael Bloomberg, the presidential hopeful and former Mayor of New York, have confirmed they intend to air minute-long ads in support of their campaigns.

Yet nearly (63%) of Americans regard the Super Bowl as an inappropriate platform for political ads from candidates, according to a poll of nearly 4,400 adults conducted by market intelligence firm Morning Consult for CMO Today.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, just 19% think the Super Bowl is a “very” (6%) or “somewhat” (13%) appropriate platform for political candidates to advertise.

And opposition to political ads being run during the event extends across party lines, with 56% of Democrats saying they don’t want to see Michael Bloomberg’s ad, rising to 62% of Republicans who don’t want the President to advertise.

“This isn’t like partisans going to their own corners,” said Michael Ramlet, chief executive of Morning Consult. “This is a universal feeling among the general public.”

The survey findings mirror a similar poll that Morning Consult conducted last year which also revealed that two-thirds of Americans did not want advertisers to make political statements during the Super Bowl 2019 – an outcome that mostly happened.

However, despite the risk of annoying Super Bowl fans, it still might be advantageous for both campaigns to go ahead with their plans because engaged viewers tend to be more receptive to political messages, according to at least one academic.

“Given that Super Bowl viewers are more engaged and involved than garden-variety viewers, it is not a mistake for an advertiser to present material that requires some mental effort,” said Aimee Drolet, professor of marketing and behavioural decision-making at the University of California.

“Even if folks are annoyed at the time, their memory will be enhanced and they are more likely to retrieve the arguments these ads make,” she added. “The irritation fades quicker than their memory.”

Sourced from Wall Street Journal, Morning Consult; additional content by WARC staff