New research from Brand Keys reveals that not all advertisers will benefit by advertising at the Super Bowl. It's not simply about how many eyes are watching the screen.
Brand Key's 2005 Super Bowl Media Survey of 1100 adults who said they are likely to watch the game examines most brands that will advertise either "on the Super Bowl", "on the Super Bowl Pre-Game", or on the "Super Bowl Post-Game." The brands tested were based on advertiser rosters that appeared in industry publications prior to fielding the survey in mid-January 2005.
The survey, like Brand Keys' Customer Loyalty Index, is created to tease out respondents' true behaviours. According to Brand Keys, the survey delivers results that correlate highly with respondents' true attitudinal and behavioural patterns, and are reliable predictors of future brand purchases. "These insights are based on a Return on Equity (ROE) model that measures how the potential target audience will react to advertising on any media vehicle" said Dr. Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys' president.
"The process quantifies equity increases or decreases resulting from advertising efforts and reports the return or loss gained. An increase in brand equity always results in increased loyalty and that, ultimately, drives profits. The results are quantitative and generalisable at the 95% confidence level. When you spend this kind of money on an ad spot, nearly 7% more than last year's costs, you want to make sure that you are getting a real return on the investment," Passikoff added.
The survey reveals results for over 25 companies, ranging from plus fifteen to minus six. Full details have been made available via the Brand Keys web site.
The insight from the survey is that any brand's values can be reinforced by the media vehicle's values. On one hand, if a brand's equity is reinforced, viewers pay more attention to the commercial and think better of the brand. On the other hand, if a brand's values are reduced, viewers won't pay as much attention to the commercial, and may actually think less of the brand. This is true no matter how "creative" the commercial, or which "compensated celebrity endorser", whether high-profile athletes or movie stars, it features.
Did they pay attention?
Particular segments of the Super Bowl possess different values that can help or hurt an advertised brand. Cadillac does extraordinarily well in the "Post-Game" segment, and is neutral when advertised in the context of the game itself. AmeriQuest, on the other hand, does better in the game itself, and not as well in the Halftime segment.
"The assessments are separate and apart from the estimate of how many eyeballs may be on the screen at that moment, and have more to do with reinforcing or degrading the brand's values in the eyes of the viewer," noted Passikoff.
According to Passikoff, traditional media buys (which are based on identifiable reach and frequency) allow companies to pay for time or space and run their ads but, when all is said and done, they are often not certain what benefit they really get for their advertising spend.
"Advertisers can prove they got the time or space paid for and they know their ad was directed at the audience defined by the reach. But in terms of real-world accountability, they get no hard proof that anyone actually paid attention to their ad. There's no guarantee that the audience will remember it, or think well of the advertised brand, let alone buy the product," Passikoff added.