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WASHINGTON -- Though Americans may be watching their pennies on everyday items, millions of consumers refuse to cut corners for the Super Bowl, according to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association's 2008 Super Bowl Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.
The survey found that 158 million people will watch the Super Bowl this year. Consumers plan on spending an average of $59.90 on Super Bowl-related merchandise, up from last year's $56.04. Total spending for the Feb. 3 Super Bowl is expected to reach $9.5 billion.
According to the survey, 70.0 percent of consumers plan to watch the Super Bowl, relatively unchanged from the 69.7 percent who watched it last year. Of those that will be watching the game, 67.4 percent will be purchasing food and beverages and 6.0 percent will buy team apparel and accessories.
"Though this year's teams are both from the Northeast, people across the country will be watching the Super Bowl for entertainment," said Phil Rist, v.p. of strategy for BIGresearch, in a statement.
While most viewers say the game itself is still the most important part of the Super Bowl (46.7 percent), 41.5 million consumers (36.3 percent) will tune in because of the commercials. Most viewers said they view Super Bowl advertisements as entertainment (75.7 percent), though a small percentage think they make the game last too long (11.1 percent) or that they are bothersome (4.3 percent). Almost one in five (18.0 percent) Super Bowl viewers wish that, when it came to advertising, companies would just save their money and pass the savings along to shoppers.
Retailers catering to young adults should be encouraged by survey findings that 18-24 year-olds are twice as likely as other groups to say that Super Bowl advertisements encourage them to buy products from the advertisers (12.6 percent vs. 6.1 percent average).
The Retail Advertising and Marketing Association's 2008 Super Bowl Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Super Bowl. The survey was conducted for RAMA by BIGresearch. The poll of 8,447 consumers was conducted from Jan. 2-8, 2008 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.