In a divided country, there’s at least one thing Americans are pretty much unanimous about: watching the Super Bowl. Only 15.4% of adults 21 to 70 who responded to a recent survey said they won’t be watching the game; 65.7% said they’ll “definitely” tune in, and 18.9% said they’ll probably be watching. With so many eyes on the action, advertisers are well-justified in going all-in. Among respondents who expect to watch, 41.4% said the commercials would be their primary focus. For them, whatever entertainment the game between New England and Atlanta provides will be an added attraction, not the main event.
Those are among the takeaways from MFour’s Jan. 30 survey of 1,000 Americans who say they expect to watch on Sunday – half of them Millennials ages 21 to 34, and half 35 or older.
For surveyed Millennials, watching the game is more likely to be a social event than for the older respondents. House parties will attract 45% in the 21 to 34 group, and 34.6% of those 35 and over. Millennial viewers will be nearly twice as likely to watch from a restaurant or a bar – 13.4% to 7.4%.
Another generational distinction is the quaffing of craft beers. Asked to name all the beverages they’d prefer to drink during the game, 35.6% of Millennials named craft beers, and 30.2% listed non-craft brews. For the post-Millennial respondents, traditional beer topped craft beer by 34.2% to 24.4%. Among all respondents’ preferred drinks, craft beer (30%) ran a close second to non-craft beer (32.2%). The older respondents are more likely to be abstaining – 25.6% said they wouldn’t be drinking alcohol during the telecast, compared to 17% of Millennials.
As for food, there was widespread agreement that Super Bowl Sunday is a day to indulge in guiltier pleasures. 85.3% of all respondents said they’ll be eating “traditional unhealthy-but-tasty snacks,” compared to 14.4% who intend to eat “healthier” foods. Clearly this is a day when pleasure trumps discipline: nearly half (46.5%) of the respondents who said they’ll be opting for tasty treats admitted that they had made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight.
Oh yes, we hear a game’s going to be played. 54.8% of respondents think the Patriots will win, and 45.2% are picking the Falcons. There’s no significant generational divide here: 55.4% of Millennials are picking the Pats.
But while the survey confirms the Super Bowl’s stature as much more than a game, the data hold some cautionary insights for the National Football League. The younger the Millennial group surveyed, the weaker the tie to pro football. Among the 21- to 25-year-old group, 23.6% identified as “rabid” NFL fans, compared to 28.2% of those 26 to 34. And more of the 21-to-25 group described themselves as “weak” fans (18.5% vs. 15.4%) or “not a fan at all” (8.2% vs. 4.9%).
Should the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday be a national holiday to let everyone recover from all the eating, drinking, and shouting at the TV? On that question we’re a nation divided. Exactly 500 of respondents who expect to watch the game said yes to a holiday, and 500 said no. Millennials favor the day off by 52% to 48%; for older viewers, it’s flipped – 48% for the holiday and 52% against.
Here’s to a great game, and a great time for all.
The survey took five hours of fielding to yield 1,000 completed responses. The in-app survey method, unlike online or non-app mobile, is the best way to get efficient and accurate insights into Millennials – such as those you’ve just read. To review the results of the entire Super Bowl study, click here and use these login credentials: ID - Super Bowl; Password - Super Bowl Survey.
The survey was fielded on Jan. 30 using the Surveys on the Go® app that’s used by more than one million active panelists in the U.S. Demographics: 50% male and 50% female, 50% ages 21-34 and 50% ages 35-70; 59% Caucasian, 13% African American, 17.3% Hispanic, 6.2% Asian, 4.5% Other. Confidence level 95%.