The Super Bowl drinks ads that boosted sales

A new study from behavioral research company Veylinx  has determined whether Super Bowl ads boost consumer demand for the products featured.

The results show that 2023 Super Bowl advertising fueled a 6.4% increase in demand among viewers.

This year the game was broadcast from Glendale, Arizona on February 12, with brands paying $US6-7 million for a primetime slot to reach an expected audience of more than 100 million people. The brands also paid big bucks for the ads to be created, with major celebrities hired to increase penetration with consumers.

Heineken’s ad, for example, featured Paul Rudd as Ant Man, teaming up on a campaign that focused on drinking (and shrinking) responsibly.

The Veylinx study measured the change in consumer demand for these drinks brands with Super Bowl ads: Michelob Ultra, Heineken 0.0%, Crown Royal Whisky, and Pepsi Zero Sugar.

Michelob Ultra saw the greatest overall increase in demand and Pepsi Zero had the greatest increase in demand among women.

The overall increase in consumer demand was driven by women, who accounted for a 21% increase in demand growth. The commercials had minimal impact on men, yielding just 1% demand growth for the brands tested. Gen Z viewers were largely unimpressed by the Super Bowl ads, with demand among 18 to 25 year olds actually shrinking by 1%.

“It’s not really a surprise to see that Super Bowl ads improve sales, but the short term bump alone may not be enough to justify the $7 million price tag,” said Veylinx founder and CEO Anouar El Haji.

Using Veylinx’s proprietary methodology—which measures actual demand rather than intent—the study tested purchase behavior during the week before the Super Bowl and again the week after.

Super Bowl advertising winners overall

  • Michelob Ultra – 19% increase in demand
  • Pepsi Zero Sugar – 18% increase in demand
  • Heineken 0.0% – 11% increase in demand

Michelob Ultra’s “New Members Day” 60-second ad was a nod to the iconic movie Caddyshack, it featured tennis superstar Serena Williams golfing against Emmy award-winning actor Brian Cox. The two were joined by other athletes including NBA player Jimmy Butler, soccer star Alex Morgan, former NFL quarterback Tony Romo, WNBA player Nneka Ogwumike and professional boxer Canelo Alvarez.

Super Bowl advertising winners among women

Pepsi Zero Sugar – 45% increase in demand
Michelob Ultra – 40% increase in demand
Heineken 0.0% – 40% increase in demand
Crown Royal Whisky – 26% increase in demand

Pepsi Zero Sugar’s ads featured Steve Martin and Ben Stiller riffing on great acting versus great taste.

Halo effect for non-advertisers

The biggest winners were arguably brands in the same product categories as Super Bowl advertisers. Non-advertisers in those categories appeared to benefit nearly as much as the advertisers: demand grew by 4.2% percent for the study’s control group of non-advertising competitors. Corona Extra was one of the greatest beneficiaries in a control group that also included Budweiser Zero and Canadian Club Whisky.

Notably, every non-advertiser saw at least a slight increase in post-Super Bowl demand.

In Crown Royal’s ad Dave Grohl thanked Canada for all its inventions.

“The goal of our study was to look specifically at how consumer demand is affected by running a commercial during the Super Bowl,” Haji said. “It’s possible that the non-advertisers deployed other marketing efforts to offset or take advantage of the Super Bowl advertising—or they simply benefited from increased exposure for their categories.”

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Categories: Business