Super Bowl 46: Will East Coast Showdown Impact Viewership?


The Super Bowl is not only a national but an international spectacle, and Super Bowl XLVI will draw just as much interest from viewers in Florida or Wyoming as in the host city of Indianpolis, and really intense interest from hundreds of people even in, say, Dubai. But that doesn’t mean geography is completely irrelevant to the Big Game, to who watches it — and to how brand executives treat it.

One huge matter of the map already has been resolved for the game on February 5: There will be no flyover-state participants. While last year’s game featured two heartland-based combatants in the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the two teams squaring off in this year’s Big Game — the New York Giants and the New England Patriots — are from the coasts; the east coast, specifically. And for brand marketers, many insist, that’s all for the better, because New York and Boston are key DMAs for advertisers.

At least one important advertiser, presenting sponsor Chevrolet, doesn’t feel the geography of the Super Bowl teams matters all that much. “Last year was Green Bay versus Pittsburgh and it was the most-watched Super Bowl of all time,” Chris Perry,CMO of Chevrolet parent GM, told brandchannel. “So while [the geographic argument] makes sense, I think the Super Bowl is the Super Bowl. A lot of people will be watching regardless.”[more]

The reality is that most people watching will be disappointed that their favorite NFL team isn’t in the game. Or, if you’re a Kentuckian, you may be disappointed that your state isn’t featured in an advertisement during the game: A grassroots effort to raise enough money to buy a Super Bowl ad and tout the wonders of the Bluegrass State came up about $3.4 million dollars short of the approximately $3.5 million required to buy a 30-second spot during the game.

Well, there’s always next year, both for eternally hopeful fans and for the next great Super Bowl commercials. In fact, CBS said that it already has sold a few spots for Super Bowl XLVII.