Super Bowl Ads Fell Short on Influencing Purchase Decisions

Shopkick survey uncovers why consumers were not swayed to spend, and which brands came out on top

Brands may have dished out upwards of $5 million each to place an ad during this year’s Super Bowl, but for most Americans, these sought-after slots didn’t drive purchases. It turns out, only eight percent of consumers actually bought a product in the days after seeing this year’s ads, and of those, 75 percent said they were already a frequent purchaser of the brand or product. 

Shopkick asked nearly 20,000 Americans about the impact of this year’s Big Game ads, as well as the genres they believe are most effective in influencing them to make purchases.

Insights include: 

  • Purchasing Power: Of the eight percent of respondents who purchased a product after seeing this year’s Super Bowl ads, Gen Zers made up the largest segment (14 percent), compared to Millennials (9 percent), Gen Xers (7 percent) and Baby Boomers (6 percent), trending opposite of the common narrative that Gen Z can’t be reached through traditional advertising.  
  • Same Day Spending: Of those who made a purchase, 13 percent say they bought products on Super Bowl Sunday just after seeing the ads, followed by 27 percent who purchased the next day and 60 percent who purchased within the following week. 
  • Brands That Brought Home the Bacon: This year’s advertisers in food and beverage, alcohol and home products that successfully influenced consumers to make a purchase included Doritos (58 percent), M&M’s (52 percent), Cheetos (50 percent), Dawn (47 percent), Frito-Lay (39 percent), Mountain Dew (26 percent), Swiffer (24 percent), Hellmann’s Mayo (23 percent), Chobani (22 percent), Bud Light beer (20 percent), Huggies (18 percent), PepsiCo’s Rockstar Energy (11 percent) and Stella Artois (10 percent). All other ads in these brand categories influenced less than 10 percent of consumers to purchase products.  
  • Can’t Be Swayed: Of the 92 percent of consumers who did not purchase products, reasons varied. Besides simply not watching the Super Bowl (44 percent), respondents also said they enjoyed the ads but did not want to make a purchase (28 percent), they didn’t pay attention to the ads (15 percent), they didn’t like the ads (6 percent) or they prefer other brands and products (3 percent).
  • Laughter Wins Dollars: In terms of which advertising genres consumers feel are most effective in influencing them to spend, respondents said comedy (35 percent), followed by values-based ads (34 percent), serious or emotional ads (8 percent), ads featuring scenery and nature (7 percent), and celebrity features (6 percent). Surprisingly, when compared by generation, the largest segments of Gen Z (42 percent), Millennials (40 percent) and Gen X (36 percent) said comedy ads are most effective in influencing them, while the largest segment of Boomers said values-based ads (37 percent).

The online survey was conducted between Feb. 11-15.

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