Consumers voice their enthusiasm as Super Bowl 2022 ratings soar
Updated: Jul 7
During these confusing times of a global pandemic, political divisions, and fragmented viewing, you can bet one annual event would draw a record number of Americans to their television screens: the Super Bowl. Mixing the best of American sports and entertainment, the final game of the football season gives viewers from all walks of life a chance to share this traditional event together and forget life’s woes for a few hours.
Super Bowl 56 was no different, as it included the Los Angeles Rams beating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 for the sports part, while the half-time show entertainment featuring some of the leading Hip-hop artists. The television broadcast of the game also featured many entertaining and very expensive commercials, packed with celebrity appearances. And the sports and entertainment mix did not end there: it was only symbolic that the following day, the Super Bowl-winning Rams’ football players, traveled to Disneyland to celebrate their victory.
As is customary in recent years, viewers and consumers had a lot to say overall digital platforms, as they reacted to the Super Bowl 56 game highlights, half-time show, commercials, and other aspects. Known for its other name as Super Bowl Sunday, this “non-holiday holiday” is also marked for the large amounts of food and alcohol consumption in the USA, second only to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. This television event thus also marks an important day for many advertising agencies and consumer goods companies. Such high investment in selling their products by using tv commercials serves as an indication of how important it is for them to appear on the Super Bowl broadcast.
Affogata recorded close to 140,000 online mentions over Friday, as viewers were preparing for the big event by conversing about the teams and the fact that the football stadium will be packed with viewers for the first time in two years. There were mentions also about the planned parade for the winning team. Sunday drew close to 180,000 Super Bowl-related online comments, mostly during the game itself, while post-game Monday also peaked with 158,000 overall mentions.
The sports aspect: Los Angeles viewers had the upper hand with feedback
Two factors usually contribute to the fans' excitement from the Super Bowl. A close game with a dramatic ending makes viewers stick to their tv sets up to the very last minute, and that’s what happened, as this year’s score of 23-20 indicates.
A second factor relates to the market sizes of the two final teams. Greater Los Angeles is the second-largest USA metropolitan area with a population of 18.7 million (New York ranks as number one). Cincinnati, however, although serving as Ohio’s largest metropolitan area, ranks only 64 of all American cities in terms of market size, and is therefore considered to be less attractive nationally. However, with the pandemic still keeping many families inside their homes, it seems that ratings registered were quite high for this game, regardless of the two teams competing for the title.
Showing expected feedback volumes from both geographical areas, Affogata tracked 78,264 direct mentions of the Los Angeles Rams, while the smaller-size area Cincinnati drew only 10,083 comments from viewers. Since LA won the game, it is safe to assume that viewers also found it easier to comment on the team which had the upper hand in this year’s Super Bowl.
The half-time show: viewers mostly enjoyed it
As the two competing teams took their half-time break to rest, the football field turned into a spectacular stage. The entertainment part began, and as the Super Bowl halftime show history indicates, this usually becomes one of music’s most talked-about annual events. Paying for this extravaganza is Pepsi, which since 2013 has been the official sponsor of the half-time show.
Memorable previous Super Bowl halftime shows include Beyonce in 2013, Lady Gaga in 2017, and, topping them all, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez in 2020. The weekend performed his hits in 2021’s Super Bowl 55, while A-list rappers took the stage this week to showcase their act and achievements. 2022’s Super Bowl's halftime show featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar with special guests 50 cents and Anderson Paak. This marked the first time that Hip-hop artists took center stage at the Super Bowl.
Viewers generally enjoyed the show, drawing a 2:1 positive-to-negative ratio overall. The positive mentions praised the performers, while the negative ones found the entire show boring. Interestingly, half of the 63,477 conversations about the hip-hop performance were recorded on Monday, the day after the Super Bowl.
One controversy keeping viewers busy was the moment when Eminen, during his performance of “Lose Yourself”, took his knee down. Such an act was obviously in protest of brutality against black people and over racial discrimination, similar to the football player Colin Kapernick’ incident. Negative reactions to Eminem’s act were higher by a 3:2 ratio, over supporters of his act. 2,709 direct discussions were tracked by Affogata on this issue alone.
The ratings and advertisement: the main event for many leading companies
As of 2021, and proving that the Super Bowl is the most popular event in American television history, 29 of the top 30 most-watched broadcasts were Super Bowls, including the 2015 game leading the list with 114 million viewers. And like the Super Bowl rating history shows, the game’s popularity still brings more and more families to watch it together.
Nielsen's official 2022 data showed that 112.3 million people watched the game over television and streaming. Samba TV, an advertising and analytics software company, reported that ratings for this year's Super Bowl showed that more than 1 in 4 American homes watched the game.
NBC, the network that aired this year’s Super Bowl, reportedly charged advertisers $6.5-7 million per 30-seconds commercial. This signified a sharp increase from 2021’s CBS broadcast that charged only $5.5 million for the same half-a-minute spots. However, that hasn’t deterred major corporations from investing their ad dollars in the Super Bowl this year. Some of them even returned to advertise on the program after taking a one-year break last year, due to the pandemic.
What was noticeable this year is the fairly high amount of crypto-currency related-ads, as well as commercials with a 90’s and 2000’s nostalgic look-and-feel, probably targeting Generation X and millennial audiences. Some of the best 2022 Super Bowl commercials featured celebrities such as Arnold Schwartzenegger playing the god Zeus for a BMW ad and Mike Mayers reprising his “Austin Powers” Dr. Evil character for a General Motors car spot.
Viewers mentioned commercial-related issues 21,533 times with Uber Eats leading the pack as the most-talked-about ad. The various commercials targeting the cryptocurrency market drew a total of 2,537 mentions from customers, showing a growing interest in this fairly-new industry.
Standing out from the crowd was this very unusual Coinbase ad, offering people who scanned the QR code shown in it a special limited-time promotion of $15 worth of free bitcoin. Consumers jumping on that offer also received the chance to participate in a $3 million giveaway draw. The ad was so successful that it led over 20 million entries into the Coinbase website, causing it to crash. Positive mentions registered by consumers won 10:3 over the negative ones, as people who tried to access the website after it crashed complained about it online.
Affogata captures the full consumers feedback data
When companies invest such huge amounts of money in commercials’ production and then spend enormous amounts of money paying for the ad spots too, it is crucial for them to measure and evaluate how consumers perceive the ads and how such ad-spending contributes to their brand sentiment. Affogata tracked, monitored, and analyzed customer feedback through the entire week leading to Super Bowl Sunday, while also measuring the important Monday following the game. The customer feedback platform keeps serving brands that want to understand quickly how viewers and consumers perceive their marketing and sales efforts.
In an event that draws so much online feedback traffic, the platform analytic data can serve as crucial key points to many different companies for their actionable insights.