SuperBowl ads have patchy result in terms of Purchase Consideration – AdAge

Fascinating article by Nat Ives published on the front page of AdAge in the USA yesterday. It goes to understanding what effect advertising has … and as the SuperBowl is now almost as much about the ads that run in it as it is the game itself in the public consciousness, the research is very helpful.

SuperBowl ads are now such a big deal they even garner attention way over here in Oz.

Justin Bieber in one of T-Mobile's four commercials in Super Bowl 51. T-Mobile's ads did not boost its purchase consideration among consumers by a statistically signifcant margin, according to YouGov BrandIndex research, but they did give a meaningful boost to positive buzz around the brand.
Justin Bieber in one of T-Mobile’s four commercials in Super Bowl 51. T-Mobile’s ads did not boost its purchase consideration among consumers by a statistically significant margin, according to YouGov BrandIndex research, but they did give a meaningful boost to positive buzz around the brand. Credit: T-Mobile

Ad campaigns built around expensive Super Bowl commercial time improved brand buzz and consumers’ propensity to talk about brands, but they don’t appear to have significantly lifted purchase consideration, according to YouGov BrandIndex research.

YouGov BrandIndex, which says it conducts online interviews of 4,500 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample, compared its findings on Super Bowl advertisers in early January with its findings in the three days after this year’s game.

In ‘Buzz’, which reflects what consumers have heard about brands, five Super Bowl marketers achieved statistically signifcant improvements, YouGov BrandIndex found: the NFL, Avocados From Mexico, Skittles, T-Mobile and Bai.

In ‘Word of Mouth’, reflecting how much respondents have said about brands, just three made a statistically significant leap so far: the NFL, Bai and Busch.

But in ‘Purchase Consideration’, scoring just what it sounds like, nobody made an immediate statistically significant gain, YouGov BrandIndex found.

See the full chart of the biggest gainers in each measure, where highlighted brands have achieved statistically significant improvements:


Brand Baseline Jan 1 – 14 Post Super Bowl
Feb 6th-8th
Change in Score
1 NFL 5.2 29.7 24.4
2 Avocados From Mexico 3.8 21.2 17.4
3 Skittles 8.9 25.3 16.4
4 TurboTax 7.1 17.9 10.7
5 T-Mobile 11.0 19.1 8.0
6 Bai 1.3 7.9 6.6
7 Audi 5.4 11.2 5.8
8 Mr. Clean 15.1 20.1 5.1
9 Busch -2.0 2.9 4.8
10 Hyundai 6.0 10.0 4.0

WOM Exposure

Brand Baseline Jan 1 – 14 Post Super Bowl
Feb 6th-8th
Change in Score
1 NFL 30.3 51.0 20.8
2 Skittles 5.6 18.3 12.7
3 Avocados From Mexico 1.5 12.2 10.6
4 Mr. Clean 6.2 14.0 7.8
5 Bai 0.8 7.6 6.8
6 TurboTax 5.9 12.6 6.7
7 Google 23.1 29.1 5.9
8 Busch 2.0 6.8 4.8
9 Audi 4.3 8.6 4.3
10 Anheuser-Busch InBev 1.7 5.5 3.8

Purchase Consideration

Brand Baseline Jan 1 – 14 Post Super Bowl Feb 6th-8th Change in Score
1 Avocados From Mexico 14.4 29.7 15.3
2 Snickers 31.3 41.9 10.6
3 Netflix 45.3 50.2 4.9
4 Bai 2.6 6.3 3.6
5 Buick 9.1 11.8 2.7
6 Sprint 9.5 11.8 2.3
7 T-Mobile 14.6 16.5 1.9
8 Busch 2.9 4.7 1.8
9 Anheuser-Busch InBev 1.9 3.5 1.6
10 Google 67.1 68.5 1.4

Source: YouGov BrandIndex

BUZZ: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” A score can range from -100 to 100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position. Example: A score of 35 means that 35% more people said they were positive than negative about the brand.

WORD OF MOUTH: “Which of the following brands have you talked about with friends and family in the past two weeks (whether in person, online or through social media)?” WOM is a range from zero to 100%

PURCHASE CONSIDERATION:”When you are in the market next to purchase items in this particular category, from which of the following brands would you consider purchasing?” Purchase Consideration is a range from zero to 100%.

MOPAt MOP, we love this kind of research and pore over it into the wee small hours for insights we can share with our customers.

Does, for example, a positive result in Buzz or Word of Mouth translate to an increase in Purchase Consideration down the track, if not immediately?

We suspect it depends on the purchase consideraton dynamics – by which we mean, how long people take to decide on a particular item, and against how many competing brands – as to the speed or otherwise of any increase in Purchase Consideration.

So, at it’s most simple, if your customers are choosing between one tin of baked beans and another on the day after the Super Bowl and you don’t see an uplift in sales, no matter how much people liked your ad, then we suspect you’ve got a problem. Your increase in talkability and brand preference simply didn’t translate to an uplift in sales – so effectively you’re spending good money simply to entertain the public.

Noble, but the company accountants won’t love you for it.

But if you’re considering whether to buy a BMW, a Mercedes or a Tesla – or to build a new home, for example – changes to your Purchase Consideration might well lag behind Buzz and Word of Mouth increases by weeks, months, or even years. Deciding whether or not your marketing expenditure did you any real good is much more difficult.

So the practical point to take from all this for advertisers?

Try and understand how long the purchase consideration dynamics are for your product – good research will help, or interrogating your salesforce and sales data more imaginatively than you might have otherwise – and revise or enhance your advertising and marketing approach accordingly.

There are basically only two strategies available to you. You either need to make so much impact with your advertising that the halo effect spreads out through the purchase consideration dynamics of your prospects – regardless of how far away their potential purchase is – or you need to be in the market for whatever length of time they are in the market, even if they are not particularly active in seeking information for the whole of that time.

And ask your ad agency whether or not they’ve ever even considered the time lag between advertising and buying in any formal way, in the advice they give you. If they look at you blankly, send an email to or simply phone us on +614 9426 5400.

With thanks to AdAge for the original story.

Author: Stephen Yolland

Director of Creative Strategy and Partner @ Magnum Opus Partners.

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