Super Bowl Ads: Will Consumers Actually Buy?

Date: 2013-02-05 22:30:14 // Categories: ROMI,
By: Zimmerman Advertising
Date: 2013-02-05 22:30:14 // Categories: ROMI,

The Ravens may have won the game, but it was the movies that scored the biggest in Zimmerman Advertising’s first-ever Z Super Poll. Disney’s Lone Ranger and Oz, The Great and Powerful, along with Universal’s The Fast the Furious 6 all had the greatest change in purchase intent, while brands such as Samsung, Calvin Klein and were sidelined by ineffective advertising.

The findings are all a part of Zimmerman Advertising’s inaugural ‘Z Super Poll.’ Conceptualized by zQ, the research division at Zimmerman, to go head to head with likeability-driven polls, this unique, business-driven survey put aside who delivered the funniest ad, or most creative ad to focus on one thing: effectiveness. More than any other metric, it measured only what counts: Having seen this ad, will you try this brand (product or service).

Here’s what the Z Super Poll found:

    Let’s all go to the movies! The studios, especially Disney win big!

  • Overall purchase intent winners include Long Ranger (+19%) and Fast & Furious 6 (+15%).
  • Women love Oz (+15%) and men love Fast and Furious.

    There’s beer, there’s soda…and then there’s MILK!

  • Aside from movies, Milk was a big winner at +11%.

    Millenials eat up Blackberry.

  • In the smartphone war, 18-34 year olds responded big time to Blackberry (+13%), but bailed on Samsung (-17%).

    Intent Trumps Opinion.

  • Consider the case of Budweiser. They used two 30 second spots to highlight their new Black Crown brew. “Here’s to taste!” they touted. And because this blue-collar brand has suddenly introduced an upscale product, viewers of the game had a high opinion of Budweiser Black Crown (+8%). But at the same time, men were less likely to go buy some after seeing these ads (-6%), while women were ready to give it a try (+8%).


“Sophomoric humor is fine for entertainment purposes, but not for selling products,” said Cliff Courtney, EVP Chief Strategy Officer, Founder of zQ. “The Super Bowl has grown to a cultural phenomenon that transcends guys on a couch farting and watching football. There’s a reason that Madonna and Beyonce have been the last two halftime performers, not Jimmy Buffet or even Jay-Z.”

Using a robust sample and sophisticated list, three days before The Big Game, zQ captured baseline perceptions of every brand expected to advertise (including likeability, purchase history, purchase intention, relevance, etc.) The same survey was sent just after the game to determine which ads actually caused a shift in perception, resulting in a greater propensity to actually buy the product or service.

“There are plenty of experts out there willing to wax philosophical about beautiful, shocking or irreverent Super Bowl ads and their place in pop culture,” said Jordan Zimmerman, Founder and Chairman of Zimmerman Advertising. “But, at Zimmerman, we’re only interested in one thing: results. We want to know which ads will stick in a consumer’s mind and translate into actual sales – because in the end, advertising isn’t about creativity or notoriety, it’s about the client’s bottom line.”

Of course it wasn’t all good news for advertisers. The Z Super Poll also showed:

    Silly ads going down.

  • Frat humor and slapstick less important than ever? Consider Doritos (-8%), M&Ms (-8%), Sketcher (-6%) and Pistachios (-7%). They’re all brands that chose gags or sophomoric-based humor, all undermining their potential to sell more product.

    Oops…three brands where the purchase intent dropped the most:

  • Samsung (-15%)
  • Calvin Klein (-13%)
  • Oreo (-10%)


Celebrities and models create sizzle and make commercials entertaining. We know that,but, unless the celebrity involvement is authentic to the brand, sales rarely jump. We know Super Bowl ads are fun to watch. Very few also move the needle.

The proof is in the numbers, and the numbers never lie. Perhaps some of these brands will reassess their efforts when it comes time to make that big Super Bowl buy next year.

Complete results from the Z Super Poll can be found at