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Ads Continue to Have Big Drawing Power on Super Bowl Sunday, According to Gravity Six Alliance Study Conducted by Harris Interactive

Over half of U.S. adult viewers(1) plan to watch the Super Bowl as much or more for the ads as for the game, with 67 percent of women tuning in as much or more for the ads

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Super Bowl ads will rival the big game on February 2, with 55 percent of U.S. adults who plan to watch Super Bowl XLVIII tuning in as much or more for the commercials as for the game, according to the latest Gravity Six Alliance poll conducted online by Harris Interactive among 2,035 U.S. adults ages 18 and older in January.  Interest in the ads is strongest among women, with 67 percent of female viewers saying they watch as much or more for the ads, compared to 44 percent of male viewers. (To download an infographic, go to and click "News.")

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The variation is even more significant among those viewers who say they tune in predominantly or exclusively for the ads — just over 28 percent of women in 2014 vs. nine percent of men.

"Ads continue to be an important part of the full Super Bowl entertainment package, especially for women," observed John Sawyer, chairman of Gravity Six Alliance and principal at partner agency Grey Matter Group. "For brands, this is the one time each year when over 100 million people will engage with their message. Not just notice it, but beg the room to quiet down so they can hear it, and then post and tweet about it. No wonder advertisers line up to pay $4 million for a spot."

Despite the big interest in the ads, one trend in Super Bowl advertising — pre-game release of the ads — does not seem to be winning the hearts of the American public. Only 15 percent of U.S adults said that they plan to watch Super Bowl commercials that are available online before the game — and the figure dropped to 12 percent among the 55 and older crowd.  U.S. adults ages 35–44 were most likely to get into the pre-game action, with 17 percent saying they would watch ads online in advance of the game.  Sixty percent of U.S. adults said they would not watch the ads online before the game and 25 percent weren't sure.

Pre-game viewing by men and women varies by eight percentage points, with 19 percent of U.S. adult men saying they plan to watch Super Bowl ads available online before the game, versus 11 percent of U.S. adult women.

"To date, brands haven't found the right formula to capture attention for their ads prior to the Super Bowl," said Gregg Palazzolo, chief creative officer at Palazzolo Design, a Gravity Six partner agency. "This probably calls for new tactics. We're starting to see some of those this year — like using buzz-worthy celebrities in teasers about the ads — we'll just have to watch how that turns out."

According to the 2014 Gravity Six Alliance study, 72 percent of U.S. adults plan to watch Super Bowl XLVIII, a number that has remained fairly steady since Gravity Six Alliance partner agency DO MORE GOOD | Hanon McKendry began the poll in 2006.  The study also confirmed consistently strong interest in Super Bowl advertising over the past nine years, with a solid 54-57 percent of adult viewers each year saying they tune in as much or more for the ads as for the game.

The Gravity Six Alliance survey aims to quantify the draw of Super Bowl commercials among the more than 108 million anticipated viewers.(2) Now in its ninth year, the survey has consistently found that over half of U.S. adult viewers planned to watch as much or more for the ads, with numbers ranging from 54 percent in 2009 to 57 percent in 2010 and 2007. 

(1) Viewers – Those U.S. adults who plan to watch Super Bowl XLVIII.

(2) The Nielsen Company estimates that Super Bowl XLVII drew 108.4 million U.S. viewers, down from 111.3 million viewers in 2012, making it the third most-watched Super Bowl and third most-watched single program of any kind in U.S. television history.

Survey Methodology
The 2014 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Gravity Six Alliance from January 14-16, 2014 among 2,035 adults ages 18 and older. 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 and information on past surveys, please contact Amy LeFebre, [email protected].

About Gravity Six Alliance

Gravity Six Alliance is a joint venture of independent advertising firms in West Michigan collaborating to better serve the advertising and branding needs of regional and national clients. Gravity Six works as a "ready-made" specialty agency network with multiple firms offering different perspectives, all managed through a single lead contact. Partner agencies are AUXILIARY Advertising & Design, DO MORE GOOD | Hanon McKendry, Extra Credit Projects, Grey Matter Group, and Palazzolo Design, with digital support provided by Mindscape.  

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll®, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client's research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Gravity Six Alliance

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