Super Bowl XLI ad poll: Canadians liked Bud, hated Dion

Every year, Canadian advertisers pay big bucks to reach the millions of eyeballs tuned in to the NFL's annual love-fest for America's favourite sport. Are they getting their money's worth? Yesterday, Solutions Research Group of Toronto conducted a survey of Canadians 12-plus to find out.

Based on the top-of-mind responses to Solutions Research Group’s polling of Canadian viewers of the Super Bowl, it was the year of beer and trucks. Numerous Budweiser/Bud Light executions were mentioned, particularly those featuring animals. Some American executions were included even though they were not part of the Canadian broadcast. This included ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ and ‘Wedding.’

Over 60% of the Canadian viewing audience were able to recall at least one of the Budweiser/Bud Light ads. Other strong performers included Nissan, Coca-Cola, GM, Dodge Doritos, Toyota (Tundra), Bombardier, Rogers Wireless and Bell. The Armed Forces ad also did well in creating awareness.

The GM Robot spot captured imaginations: people seem to have good recall of the ad and were able to describe it in detail. Kevin Federline was a brand unto himself. Many respondents just mentioned his name, and half of those who referenced him thought he was associated with a fast food brand, not Nationwide.

One spot that turned viewers off was the Stéphane Dion attack ad from the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Of those who recalled seeing it, 60% said they didn’t care for it.

Nearly four in 10 survey participants said they will follow up on ads aired during Super Bowl after the game, although most of the interest was in US ads not aired in Canada.

Other top-line findings include:

* 15% of viewers stated they were big NFL fans, 44% were casual NFL fans, and 42% said they only pay attention during this time of year.

* 22% of those who were watching viewed the entire game, while 63% watched at least half of the four-hour event.

* 68% of viewers watched the half-time show.

* As expected, it was a big co-viewing event – with 78% watching with someone else and 20% watching with more than five other people.

* Football fans were also connecting in other ways. One in ten were instant-messaging others who were watching the game elsewhere, and 5% were text-messaging.

The Solutions Research Group survey was designed as an independent syndicated study with an unbiased perspective. Final results will be available next week.