Two Surveys: What Are We Doing with Mobile Devices During the Super Bowl?


ADOTAS – With the Super Bowl fast approaching and the potential for advertising via mobile devices being one of the hottest-button issues in the industry, there’s been a lot of discussion about what this Sunday’s game — for advertisers, a vehicle for rolling out the most creative and ambitious campaigns they can muster — might accomplish for ad reach. It’s easy to hypothesize, but today, we took a look at two brand new studies that asked what Super Bowl viewers actually expect to be doing with their smartphones and/or tablets during the game. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and mobile advertising/marketing tech provider Velti each conducted surveys (both through Harris Interactive, which conducted the research) — Velti looking more closely at how close users expected to keep their mobile devices during the game, and the IAB weighing Giants and Patriots fans against each other in their regular mobile usage (as if they needed another thing to compete over).

The IAB’s survey found that 56 percent of smartphone users and 46 percent of tablet users expected to use their devices during the game, while Velti’s found that 60 percent of mobile users expected to look at or use their devices. (Use, I can see, but look at is another thing — I’ve seen football games, and they last for hours, and I’ve seen what people do when their phones vibrate, and with those odds, 60 percent seems like a lowball estimate — but I digress.) Velti’s survey found 30 percent of users under the age of 45 would watch the game with device “in hand” (which raises the question of how that experience differs from “in pocket”), and 47 percent of users ages 18 and up (that’s everyone in the survey, for the record) said they’d check or use their devices more than 10 times during the game. The IAB’s study found 74 percent of 18- to-34-year-olds said their phones would be part of the Super Bowl experience for them, and 51 percent of that demographic said they’d be texting, emailing or instant messaging during the game.

Advertisers naturally want viewers to watch those all-important ads, but they have competition this year: According to Velti’s survey, 26 percent of mobile users who said they’d be watching the game also said they’d be likely to look at their mobile devices during commercial breaks. That’s twice as many as the number that said they’d be likely to check their mobiles during game play. But the IAB has edifying numbers, stepping back from just mobile usage: 41 percent of the Super Bowl viewers they asked said they would use a computer of some sort to learn something about Super Bowl ads, and 18 percent said they planned to watch those new commercials on a computer before or just after the game. Only 8 percent said they planned to watch highlights or replays, to put that in perspective.

Oh, and who’s more immersed in mobile, Giants or Pats fans? The IAB picked Patriots fans. Even though Giants fans use their mobile devices to access more sports content, Pats fans watch more video on their mobiles. Hey, they threw in a chart:


Smartphone ownership 112 111
Tablet ownership 123 104
Weekly or more frequently (percentages of consumers who own a smartphone or tablet):
Watch videos via smartphone or tablet 100 114
Post to social media via a smartphone or tablet 98 131
Access sports content via a smartphone or tablet 147 136
Send or receive e-mails via a smartphone or tablet 104 95
Send or receive text messages via a smartphone or tablet  




Read news via a smartphone or tablet 110 97
Final Index Score (Weighted Average): 114 116





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