Adverts better than Super Bowl for 25 percent of Americans

Fri Feb 4, 2011 5:29pm EST
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By David Sheppard

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Renowned football coach Vince Lombardi famously said, "battles are primarily won in the hearts of men," but for a quarter of Americans watching the Super Bowl on Sunday adverts mean more than the game.

As Lombardi's old team the Green Bay Packers prepare to face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas for the trophy that carries his name, a nationwide poll of 1,018 adults by Marist showed 26 percent of American viewers are tuning in primarily for the commercials.

"The adverts are now a huge part of the day itself that has already grown bigger than anyone could imagine," said Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "It's a national gathering now and for some the new adverts are part of the attraction, with pre- and post-show analysis much like the game itself."

With an estimated audience in excess of 100 million in the United States alone, the Super Bowl is the biggest day in the calendar for U.S. TV advertisers.

A 30-second slot is estimated to cost up to a record $3 million this year, said media industry analyst David Joyce at Miller Tabak in New York .

Fox Broadcasting Co, which is airing the game, has said it expects the game to net them the biggest pay day in the channel's history.

Many companies premier adverts for the first time during the Super Bowl, with each vying for the viewers' attention.

"(It's) usually great recognition for the advertisers, for the money," Joyce said.   Continued...

<p>Kevin New (L) from Tampa, Florida plays in the snow with his son Skylar (C) and wife Anne outside their hotel after an overnight storm dropped five inches of snow in Dallas, Texas, February 4, 2011. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>