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Incoming Data: Money, Food and Football

In our 3rd addition of our 3 part series in looking at the numbers behind the Super Bowl, we arrive at income.  Sure, everyone loves chicken wings and we proved that Americans really love them during the Super Bowl.  Snack food consumed during the big game can be measured in tonnage, with 1,200 calories average per person while watching the game.  But looking at income is equally as interesting.  Heck, who doesn’t love money?

Using one of our Consumer Marketing Databases, we examined the population breakdown of the “football spectator” by median income per state.  In doing so, we find that New Jersey scores as the highest median annual income of $85,202 for football viewers and West Virginia at the bottom with $50,599.  But what does this all mean to us? 

Does it tell us anything about how income influences our spectator sports participation?  Well, not exactly.  In doing our own market research, we find that though wealthier households are more apt to have Cable TV than the less wealthy.  But Cable TV isn’t required to watch the Super Bowl, or other weekly football games for that matter.  The income level of a football viewer doesn’t say so much about why they’re watching or what snack foods they consume during the game, but to advertisers, it matters tremendously.

Advertising Matters

While chicken wing and calorie consumption are fun and interesting, income is a bigger predictor of purchasing behavior for all types of goods and services.  Advertisers during the big game want to know that they’re reaching their most ideal prospects and willingly invest millions of dollars to get their messages to that audience. 

Using some simple data modeling techniques we find that the higher the income, the more “receptive people are to responding to primetime TV advertising.”  In fact, if you look at the entire population by income, divide them into 13 income segments, you will find that it is only the highest income bracket ($150K or greater) that is the most “receptive to primetime TV advertising” as compared to all other lower income ranges. 

Marketing decision makers love this kind of information.  They consider every little nuance of how and why their audience responds to their carefully-crafted messages.  They invest a great deal in market research to measure the subtle lift in response from the tiniest tweaks and changes to their campaign audience.  This is true across all media, whether direct mail marketing, email marketing, or Super Bowl TV ads. 

Snack Food and “Oral Interference”

This brings us back to our snack food, advertising dollars, and getting your message to your audience.  The University of Wuerzburg recently published a study on brand choice and brand attitudes while watching ads and eating popcorn or chewing gum.  Coined “Oral Interference,” participants who had consumed popcorn or chewed gum while watching TV commercials showed no advertising effects.  This study asserts that memory of new brands is challenged because one of the mechanisms for learning new words is saying them silently to ourselves.  This may involve moving the lips or other speech organs, but doesn’t result in sound.  When we’re chewing, this memory enhancing tool isn’t available and we’re far less likely to remember the unfamiliar new brand.

Does this mean that advertisers should give up on advertising during the big game?  Not exactly.  More established brands are recalled, and ads do have a positive impact for those.  But for those not so familiar, other channels of advertising might prove more fruitful.

Of course BB Direct’s game plan is to help marketing decision makers make better decisions about their marketing.  We love data and leverage our intelligence of data to help make informed marketing decisions.  Though new advertisers aren’t best suited for a Super Bowl ad, postal direct mail just very well might be.  Give us a call to discuss.  After all, we don’t typically munch down handfuls of potato chips or chew on chicken wings while opening the mail, now do we?

Income levels of Football Watchers
Income Levels by State