- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Most Americans will watch Super Bowl LVI but only 14% plan to attend large game-day parties this year as COVID-19 hesitations continue, according to a new consumer survey released Tuesday.

The consumer research platform Attest found that 63% of Americans will “definitely” or “probably” watch Sunday’s match between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams, but most will do so in the comfort of their homes with only a few loved ones nearby. Another 24% will “definitely not” or “probably not” watch the game, while 13% are “not sure.”

“While big parties are on the backburner, the majority is still planning on watching the big game with their household, whipping up a spread of homemade food, and getting a good laugh from the much-anticipated commercials,” Jeremy King, CEO and founder of Attest, said in a statement.

With each 30-second commercial costing $6.5 million this year, 63% of viewers want them “to be humorous” and 46% said they do not like or appreciate political advertisements during the game.

“All in all, most Americans are banking on a day of football, light-hearted fun, free from politically focused ad campaigns,” Mr. King said.

Consumers associate food and drink above all other products with Super Bowl ads, the survey found. Respondents identified Budweiser as the brand they identify most strongly with Super Bowl commercials, followed by Doritos and Pepsi.

The research firm, based in London and New York, found that 55% of those planning to watch Super Bowl LVI intend to do so at home “with members of their household only.” Another 15% will watch the game alone, just 3% will go to a bar or other public venue and smaller numbers plan to attend the game itself or a virtual watch party.  

Even though 41% of Americans said they feel “comfortable” attending a large in-person Super Bowl Party, compared to 31% who said they are not comfortable, Attest said in a statement that “the latest surge in the Omicron variant appears to have factored heavily into how the majority of people will watch the game this year.”

Television will be the platform for 57% of respondents, while 27% plan to stream it. Another 1% will record the game to watch later, and the remainder said they either don’t know or will use another method to watch.

Attest found that 48% of viewers plan to go to the store and make a food spread ahead of the game, 17% are not sure how they will get food, 10% plan to order from a food-delivery app, and 8% will order directly from a local restaurant. The remainder planned to get food through other methods, and 3.7% said “none of the above.”

With last year’s Super Bowl clocking in at 96 million viewers, the lowest since 2007, the firm found that just 13% of respondents said they “definitely” will not watch the game.

The firm said 36% of consumers cited “excitement for watching the game itself” as their reason for tuning in this year. That was followed by excitement for the Super Bowl commercials (18%), for the halftime show (17%) and for gambling on the outcome (4.5%) in states where betting is legal.

Viewers are seeking an “escape from reality” in this year’s show that Attest said “also extends to their expectations for this year’s Super Bowl commercials.”

Only 12% of respondents want to see motivational messages, and just 4% want thought-provoking commercials. Celebrity-driven ads are what most interest 29% of viewers, followed by 14% who want to see commercials that support a social cause.

Attest surveyed 1,000 working-age Americans on Jan. 17-19 through its online research platform. The firm said it’s the first time it has surveyed consumer attitudes about the Super Bowl.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Sean Salai can be reached at ssalai@washingtontimes.com.

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