Do Super Bowl ads increase sales?

With less than two weeks away from the big game, we wonder if Super Bowl ads increase sales. Is paying north of 5 million for a 30-second spot worth it? A study found that the benefits from Super Bowl ads persist well into the year. Also, the gains in sales are more substantial when the advertiser is the sole advertiser from its market category.

The Study

The study, “Super Bowl Ads,” published in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, is co-authored by Wesley Hartmann and Daniel Klapper. The authors explore the relationship between Super Bowl viewership within the U.S. and corresponding sales throughout 2006-2011. Specifically, the beer and soda categories, to evaluate the persistent effect of the ad on consumption. For accurate measurement, they exploit the variation in viewership as a function of the popularity to isolate the sales effects of the ads.

Super Bowl ads increase sales

Although the ad hasn’t aired, Budweiser sees an increase in sales during Super Bowl week. The authors estimate that sales of Budweiser can increase as much as 10 six-packs per thousand households for a 10-point increase in ratings.

Additionally, there is an increase in sales in markets where Super Bowl viewing was higher during other sporting events. These events include the NCAA’s “March Madness,” NBA games and into the MLB season. Budweiser volume and revenues can increase up to 4.7 percent in response to Super Bowl advertising during those events.

Although other categories require more research, we can see a correlation between ads and sales.  The authors note, “Our research focused on the effects for only a certain type of established brand with ongoing consumption. We need more research to study the effects for advertisers who use the Super Bowl to fast-track awareness and recognition for brands.”

Carolina Macedo, the author, is Project Coordinator for Marketing Keys. She looks forward to watching all the newest ads in the Big Game each year and will look forward to researching how these ads impact sales.