Lucy Farey-Jones: The Super Bowl Ad Hangover [Super Bowl 2013]


For the first year, half of Americans will re-watch super bowl ads, so how long is the actual lifespan of one of these spots? Do they linger?

Lucy Farey-Jones, Venables Bell
  • 10 february 2013

Sadly, as I write this from the heart of San Francisco, the game most certainly is over for the 49ers, despite their surprise post-blackout momentum.

For those in the ad community the Super Bowl is far from over. It’s the week after, and marketers and advertising folks are furiously checking their YouTube metrics, Twitter feeds and the latest headlines and polls, explaining to their management team that they made the right call.

Not so fast. The results from my agency Venables Bell & Partners’ fourth annual Super Bowl study of 1,000 Americans would indicate the game isn’t over yet.

Having represented Audi in the Super Bowl for six successive years, we have seen the lifespan of a Super Bowl ad grow markedly over that time. This year Americans were searching, sharing and rewatching ads more than any year before. For the first time in our survey, 50% of Americans say they will rewatch their favorite ads online after the game. And the trend isn’t going away as we saw these numbers rise particularly among millennials, which, as all good marketeers know, is an omen of what is to come.

Also for the first year, ads tied with best plays when it comes to what Super Bowl watchers are most likely to discuss the day after the game. Americans even went so far as to admit they are more likely to “like” a brand (29%) on Facebook that advertises during the Super Bowl than they are to “like” a team (26%).

The Digital Water Cooler

Not only will half of Americans rewatch ads, but 40% will share them. 86% will do so via Facebook and 30% via Twitter (a 500% increase from 2012). Theoretically, this means with 111 million people watching the game, and with the average Facebook user having 130 friends, those collective posts could result in over 4.9 billion incremental impressions. That’s one hell of a media buy.

Overall, digital engagement during the Super Bowl has experienced double-digit jumps from 2010—2013, proving Americans are increasingly on two-plus screens during the big event. Twitter is leading the charge, seeing the most gains at 275% growth, which explains the Twittersphere explosion during the blackout. Smart Super Bowl marketers like Audi, Tide and Oreo all gained additional buzz from their clever tweets.



The younger generation (18-29) is the most passionate and engaged age group when it comes to Super Bowl ads. 78% (vs. 55% avg.) said they would pay attention to who is advertising before the game. 43% would vote for their favorite ad (vs. 22% avg.) and 44% would buy something while watching the game (vs. 21% avg.). After the game, 70% will rewatch their favorite ads (vs. 50% avg.) and 68% will share ads on Facebook (vs. 40% avg).

So for those marketeers who sat out Sunday’s game and are asking, “Should I do it next year?”

The answer is yes, but be ready for a two-week campaign, not 60 seconds of glory.


See the full infographic below:

infographic_superbowl hangover

About Venables Bell & Partners

Founded in 2001, Venables Bell & Partners is an independent San Francisco advertising agency. Named by Advertising Age as one of the top ten “A-List” agencies in the country, VB&P is privileged to work with eBay, Audi of America, Intel, Google, Slim Jim, Orville Redenbacher’s, Healthy Choice and the Phillips66 Company, among others. To learn more, visit

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