Super Bowl Advertising

Superbowl Ads Linked to Companys' Sucessful Stock Performance

These days, it seems that there is nearly as much excitement surrounding Super Bowl advertisements as there is for the game itself. During this advertising showdown, companies spend millions of dollars not to be out-done, with the hopes of receiving a major pay-off after the game. This “pay-off” theory was analyzed during a faculty-student collaborative research project involving Management and Marketing faculty members Dr. Rama Yelkur and Dr. Chuck Tomkovich.

During their study, they found that the aggregate stock price of publicly traded firms that ran in-game Super Bowl advertisements beat that Standard & Poors 500 performance in 10 of the last 12 years.

“It’s a significant finding, because in essence, Wall Street rewards firms that run Super Bowl ads. It’s a tradeable event.”

Dr. Chuck Tomkovick
Professor of Marketing

Yelkur and Tomkovich, along with student researchers Casey Bruce, a senior finance and marketing major from Shell Lake; Justin Huegel, a senior marketing major from Winona, Minn.; Joe Milburn, a senior marketing and psychology major from Watertown; Adam Peshaw, a senior marketing major from Boyceville; and Dan Rozumalski, a junior marketing major from De Pere found that “in 10 of the last 12 years, the basket of stocks advertised during the Super Bowl outperformed that of the S & P 500 over the same two-week period, “ said Casey Bruce, a member of the student research team.

According to Dr. Chuck Tomkovick, “It’s a significant finding, because in essence, Wall Street rewards firms that run Super Bowl ads. It’s a tradeable event.”

The marketing study “examines the financial performance of the firms that invest in Super Bowl ads and demonstrates that there is a net positive effect, regardless of how likeable the ads were scored in USA Today’s annual Ad Meter publication,” said Dr. Rama Yelkur.

Furthermore, Yelkur said, “The study is particularly meaningful because it looks at data over a long period of time rather than just on an annual basis.”

However, while the results point to a positive historical association between Super Bowl advertising investments and the financial performance of the firms that conduct them, it does not suggest causation.

“For example, while Federal Express in 2007 saw its stock rise by nearly $3.50 per share during this period of study, this does not mean that FedEx’s Super Bowl commercial caused the result,” Tomkovich said.

According to Bruce, “The research process was very long and challenging, but also very rewarding. We spent hours upon hours finding the stocks advertised during the Super Bowl and looking for trends over various periods of time before and after the game for each of the last 12 years. It got to be difficult trying to find the parent companies and whether or not they were privately held or traded publicly, but in the end it was exciting to see that our research showed a possible correlation between advertising during the Super Bowl and the overall performance of stocks”.

Rozumalski said, “Working with Dr. Yelkur and Dr. Tomkovick has been great, and is what guided me to change my major to Marketing. It was a good opportunity to relate my major directly into the research process.”

Professors Tomkovick and Yelkur’s Super Bowl research has been widely quoted in media around the country. The following interview by Peter Barnes of Fox Business Network aired Feb. 4, 2008.

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