Big Game, Bigger Ad Spend: 3 Audience Insights for Advertisers

Super Bowl audience insights for advertiisers

The smell of buffalo chicken dip bubbling in the slow cooker meets the sweet crackle of your partner opening a White Claw and a Bud heavy as you flip on the TV. The back of your jersey creases as you lean back on the couch and smile – it’s here.

70% of American adults tune in to watch the Big Game.

To most, it’s a pretty special Sunday steeped in tradition. To advertisers, it’s a downright holiday. We make bingo cards with squares like “I pitched that concept and it got killed” and “Made me wish I work at W+K for the 3rd time tonight.” Slack is at the ready for live critiquing with coworkers. And for those of us who are also football fans, we’re in for a long night of deciding which two minutes we can sacrifice for a bathroom break.

Ad inventory has been slower to sell than years past, according to Adweek, but is still performing well. This small sign of positivity is something the ad industry wasn’t sure would materialize after everything that’s happened since LIV. But, while the still-high price tags make 2021 look like a normal year for Big Game advertising, it by no means is. Brands always try to craft ads that will resonate with something deep in the psyche of American consumers, but that’s easier said than done following 2020.

Consumers are wearing their emotions on their sleeves (and their internet behavior). Their habits, behaviors, and opinions have moved like tectonic plates since March, on a scale from slight murmurs to major social earthquakes. The line between an authentic and a tone-deaf ad will be thinner than the blades of grass on the field. Now more than ever, advertisers must deeply understand the 156 million Americans who are likely to tune in.

Meet Your Audience

Big Game watchers are 51% male, and their ages and household incomes are both evenly spread across the board.

As many will be watching with just their household this year, who does that involve? 59% of these fans are married and 30% are single. 57% have no children under 18, while 39% have 1-3 kids running around and asking to stay up for the halftime show.

This is an independent and lively bunch, with their top values being:

  • Freedom to determine actions
  • Freedom to be creative
  • Living a life full of excitement, novelties, and challenges

As for the products they buy, the Resonate Ignite Platform™ shows these consumers have the following purchase drivers:


Insight 1: Their lifestyles entail business weekdays, active weekends

These fans are business-savvy, holding their performance at work in high regard. Compared to the average American, they’re 15% more likely to have proving competence and skills as a top psychological value. They’re also 70% more likely to have Forbes as their top magazine.

In their free time, compared to the average American, they are:

  • 13% more likely to value athletic accomplishments as part of their daily routine
  • 30% more likely to go on a bike or walking tour while on vacation
  • 25% more likely to cite Asics as one of their top brands, a runner favorite

Sports fan are active? Groundbreaking, we know, but still a good reminder for brands in this category to play up the perks of an active lifestyle.

Insight 2: They’re politically perceptive

With the rise of consumer activism, more brands have used their multi-million-dollar media space to make a statement to a captivated audience. While pleasing everyone is a moot endeavor, brands looking to make a politically charged statement should keep in mind where this audience stands.

Politically, these fans are:

And they prefer companies that:

  • Support the community
  • Have truthful ads
  • Provide safe products

After a tumultuous election year, political messaging will surely make it into this game’s ads. This audience will likely be perceptive to this as they’re active in politics – they’re 14% more likely to vote in non-presidential elections, and 10% more likely to do so frequently. They’re also 22% more likely to contribute money to politics.

Insight 3: Their media preferences outside of football are varied

Outside of the Big Game, here’s a peek at the media this audience likes to consume:

  • 150% more likely to watch “Law & Order: SVU”
  • 60% more likely to have MSNBC as their top TV network, with Adult Swim coming in second at 45%
  • 48% more likely to have Tik Tok as their top social network, and they’re 14% more likely to be heavy engagers across all social media
  • 28% more likely to like going to the movies – cinematic style ads with a rich plot could hit the spot
  • 16% more likely to visit entertainment websites, tracking with their top values of living a life full of excitement and creativity

Will the heartstring-pull work after a year like 2020?

Following the slew of “we’re in these unprecedented times together” ads of spring 2020, will ads that strike a similar tone be met with diverted, rolling, or welling eyes? Questions like these can be answered when you have access to fresh data that goes deep into the values, habits, motivations, and aspirations that make them who they are.

The Resonate Ignite Platform™ has 13,000+ of these insights scaled with AI to over 200 million consumer profiles, ready for you to analyze for the audience you’d like to reach.

While the players go for the ring, you can go for ads that ring true for their audience – all you need to do is get to know them on a human level. Request a demo and we’ll show you how.

Ready to Put Resonate to Work?

Hundreds of consumer brands, ad agencies, and political and advocacy organizations are using Resonate’s consumer insights to make better connections with their customers and yours. Don’t let your competition get ahead.

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