Advertisers are miss ing out by not marketing to the third of Americans who don't watch the Super Bowl, found a study by market-research firm InsightExpress.
While 54 percent of the poll's 500 respondents plan to view the game, 32 percent said they would not. (Fourteen percent were undecided).
Of the nonwatchers, 60 percent said they would treat the day as "any other Sunday" and 29 percent would watch another TV show.
"About 90 percent of the people not watching the Super Bowl make their decision on what they're going to do that day sometime the week before," said Doug Adams, a senior analyst with Stamford, Conn.-based Insight Express. "These people are looking for alternatives, and they want to be marketed to."
About 40 percent of non-game-viewers said they would be receptive to promotions such as discounts on movie tickets or fast food. "Advertisers don't realize the benefits of going after this segment, because they're too focused on going after the big Super Bowl pie," Adams said.
While media buyers admit marketing opportunities are being squandered, they said the networks' counterprogramming efforts are limited and non-Bowl fans may not even be that desirable an audience.
"We looked at 430 programs that aired just prior to last year's Super Bowl, and the ones who tuned in the most were the viewers who ended up watching the game, while the lightest viewing patterns for those programs were the non-Super Bowl crowd," said Lyle Schwartz, svp, director of media research, Media edge:cia.
In the end, it may come down to the Bowl's audience size. "The significant thing is that in this fragmented society, you're going to have a full two-thirds of Americans watching one television program," said John Rash, svp, director of broad cast negotiations for Campbell-Mithun in Minnea polis. "And that's a remarkable achievement that is bound to overshadow anything else."