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Super Bowl Ads

Author

Listed:
  • Wesley R. Hartmann

    (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305)

  • Daniel Klapper

    (School of Business and Economics, Humboldt University Berlin, 10099 Berlin, Germany)

Abstract

We explore the effects of television advertising in the setting of the National Football League’s Super Bowl telecast. The Super Bowl is well suited for evaluating advertising because viewers pay attention to the ads, more than 40% of households watch the game, and variation in ad exposures is exogenous because a brand cannot choose how many impressions it receives in each market. Viewership is primarily determined based on local preferences for watching the two competing teams. We combine Super Bowl ratings data with weekly sales data in the beer and soda categories to document three primary findings about advertising. First, the relationship between Super Bowl viewership and sales in the week leading up to the game reveals the brands customers buy to consume during the game. We find some brands are consumed while watching the game while others are not, but this is unrelated to whether a brand ever advertised during the Super Bowl or advertises in a specific year. This rejects the theory that advertising works by serving as a complement to brand consumption. Second, we find that post–Super Bowl sales effects of ad viewership are concentrated in weeks with subsequent sporting events. This suggests Super Bowl advertising builds a complementarity between the brand and sports viewership more broadly. Finally, we collect data on National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament viewership to test this theory and find that the complementarity between a brand’s sales and viewership of the tournament is enhanced by Super Bowl ad viewership. Together, these findings identify advertising as a determinant of why some brands outperform others for particular consumption occasions such as sports viewership.

Suggested Citation

  • Wesley R. Hartmann & Daniel Klapper, 2018. "Super Bowl Ads," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(1), pages 78-96, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:37:y:2018:i:1:p:78-96
    DOI: 10.1287/mksc.2017.1055
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Christina C. Bartenschlager & Jens O. Brunner, 2019. "Reaching for the stars: attention to multiple testing problems and method recommendations using simulation for business research," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 89(4), pages 447-479, June.
    3. Mitchell J. Lovett & Renana Peres & Linli Xu, 2019. "Can your advertising really buy earned impressions? The effect of brand advertising on word of mouth," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 215-255, September.
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    6. Samuel Nocito & Marcello Sartarelli & Francesco Sobbrio, 2021. "A Beam of Light: Media, Tourism & Economic Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 9055, CESifo.
    7. Robert W. Palmatier & Andrew T. Crecelius, 2019. "The “first principles” of marketing strategy," AMS Review, Springer;Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 9(1), pages 5-26, June.
    8. Samuel Nocito & Marcello Sartarelli & Francesco Sobbrio, 2022. "A Beam of Light: Media, Tourism and Economic Development," Working Papers 2/22, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    9. Rex Yuxing Du & Mingyu Joo & Kenneth C. Wilbur, 2018. "Advertising and Brand Attitudes: Evidence from 575 Brands over Five Years," Papers 1810.07783, arXiv.org.
    10. Sarah Moshary & Bradley T. Shapiro & Jihong Song, 2020. "How and When to Use the Political Cycle to Identify Advertising Effects," NBER Working Papers 27349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Sarah Moshary & Bradley T. Shapiro & Jihong Song, 2021. "How and When to Use the Political Cycle to Identify Advertising Effects," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(2), pages 283-304, March.
    12. Michael Thomas, 2020. "Spillovers from Mass Advertising: An Identification Strategy," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(4), pages 807-826, July.

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