Super Bowl LI’s hype seems to have died with the last confetti horn of the Patriots' victory parade, but at Skyhook, we’re wondering: are brands’ multi-million dollar ad investments having an impact on in-store foot traffic? In our previous post, we looked at brand affinities for both Patriots and Falcons fan territories, seeing who won over fans before the game. Now that some time has passed and the President’s Day sales circuit is over, Skyhook is taking another look at how brand foot traffic performed across the nation after the airing of Super Bowl ads.
Our primary questions after the game were “did the Super Bowl ads influence consumer behavior? Did these ads drive additional foot traffic to stores?" At Skyhook, our location network gives us access to massive amounts of highly precise mobile device data. This data provides anonymous insights into behaviors of anonymized mobile users as they move throughout their day.
While our pregame analysis needed complex polygons to define fan territories, we drew from country-wide mobile device logs in our post game analysis.
Once we gathered device IDs across the US from our database, we ran the group through our Skyhook Personas. Skyhook Personas are built by calculating how millions of mobile phones and other devices interact with millions of commercial places of business every day. This process calculates brand affinities amongst US residents based on which stores or business the devices visited.
So how did TV and in-game ad sponsorships perform? We looked at the average daily visits to car dealerships and retail stores associated with Super Bowl ads, and compared them to the daily averages of the previous 2 months to see if consumer behavior changed.
Here’s what we found nationwide:
After the game, auto brands showed a very healthy lift in visits overall. Click to tweet.
In terms of which brand was preferred by a national audience, Mercedes clearly won out with a 24% lift in visits. Audi was a favorite as well, seeing a 13% lift compared to their December and January numbers. Some brands didn’t see the return they would have liked - Chevrolet and Ford were among the brands that saw a 13% drop in visits.
QSR Dining Brands
While Auto brands may have to wait to see the full extent of how their Super Bowl ads affected sales, Fast Food saw a healthy uplift in store visits post game. Both Wendy’s and McDonalds saw over 14% more traffic to their stores nationwide and KFC saw 12% lift. Click to tweet.
Some interesting trends came out of the analysis regarding retailers. Macy’s, which was advertising it's upcoming sales at the time, saw a 23.2% drop in traffic after the Super Bowl. This may be accounted for by the fluctuations in store traffic following the holiday season. Surprisingly, Nordstrom who didn’t advertise during Superbowl showed very strong 9.1% lift in average daily visits, which may be due in part to some recent publicity.
The Bottom Line
Given our analysis, we can conclude that brand sponsorships seem to play a role in influencing consumer behavior, but we’re not convinced yet. While attributing brand campaign spend to venue foot traffic is important, fueling your campaigns with in-depth customer insights from the start can yield even better results.
Skyhook helps brands, agencies and event organizers target their most relevant audiences and reach them with messages that speak to their unique preferences. Our analysis above can be applied to any number of geographically defined events or regions. This method is also used to measure the impact of campaign messaging on in-store foot traffic for retailers or any brick & mortar brand. Checkout some of our past analyses of mobile devices across the US here. Follow us on Twitter @Skyhook to get updates on our next large scale analysis.