comScore Most Americans Do Not Enjoy Politics in Super Bowl Ads

Poll: Huge Majority of Americans Do NOT Like Political Statements in Super Bowl Ads, Consider Them ‘Inappropriate’

Billboard advertisement features former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick near Raymond James Stadium ahead of Super Bowl LV. (Patrick Smith, Getty Images)

Most Americans don’t like to see political statements made by brands, according to a new poll about the upcoming Big Game in commercial advertising.

A Morning Consult poll conducted January 25-26 asked dozens of questions about the Super Bowl, regarding everything from the halftime show to whether watching the game is even a big deal this year. And of course, a lot of questions about the ads. The Super Bowl is the super bowl of advertising, so it makes sense it would be a big part of pre-game polling.

Among the many questions regarding advertising, the first was on the subject of political content in ads from brands. Specifically, asking “In general, do you believe it is appropriate for brands or corporations” to “make political statements.”

Among adults, only 13% called it “very appropriate” and 23% responded that it is “somewhat appropriate.” But 23% said it is “not too appropriate” and the largest number, 28%, selected “not appropriate at all.” That’s a majority who find political messages in brand advertisements to be “inappropriate.”

Also in the survey, respondents were asked about how much they enjoy watching Super Bowl ads in particular that make a political statement.

A tiny 7% of respondents said they enjoy those ads “a lot”, and only 15% said they enjoy them “somewhat.” A larger 21% said they do not enjoy them “much,” but a whopping 41% said they do not enjoy them “at all.”

That’s 62% who don’t enjoy them or, to put it another way, only 7% of people truly enjoy them.

In a somewhat contradictory result, the survey found that 59% of Americans find social justice messages in advertising at least somewhat appropriate, versus 28% who find those messages “inappropriate” to some extent in brand advertising.

On the topic of social justice messages in Super Bowl ads specifically, 20% of adults said they enjoy watching such ads “a lot” and 25% said they enjoy them “somewhat.” There were 13% who said they do not enjoy them “much,” and 24% said they do not enjoy them “at all.”

Those are close numbers, with social justice coming in slightly more favorable than unfavorable, but with more people strongly against than strongly for. Nevertheless a markedly different outcome from the political statements questions.

Naturally, when you break it down there are varying results among different demographics. For example, men were less likely than women to enjoy social justice ads, but more likely to enjoy political statements than women.

Republicans by a huge margin do not enjoy political statements in Super Bowl ads (68% to 12%). Democrats likewise do not largely enjoy political statements in the ads, but the margin isn’t as pronounced (51% to 34%).

Among Republicans, ads that promote social justice are not enjoyed (60%) far more than they are enjoyed (24%), whereas the opposite is true with Democrats, who largely enjoy (66%) social justice messages in ads, rather than not enjoying it (20%).

There was also a break by party on the question of ads that promote civil rights.

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