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The Impact of Super Bowl Advertisements on Foot Traffic

February 10, 2022
by
Annelise Dutcher

The Super Bowl may be the NFL’s most important game of the season, but, since its start, the televised game has also become known as one of advertising’s biggest events of the year. Next to what team is favored to win, discussion about what companies will have the most entertaining Super Bowl TV commercials follows as one of the most important topics of debate surrounding the event. 

Super Bowl commercials have become one of the most highly sought after advertising minutes in the industry. According to Statista, just 30 seconds in between the game cost companies $5.6 million dollars in 2020. Those 30 seconds have contributed to some of the most memorable advertisements in American history - but just how effective are they? 

SafeGraph Community member Matthew Dawidowicz sought to find out by analyzing foot traffic data in January versus February 2020 to Kia, Hyundai, Audi, Toyota, and T-Mobile, all of which aired 2020 Super Bowl commercials. 

Interestingly, the analysis showed visit rates actually decreased to these brick and mortar locations from January to February after the Super Bowl. At first, it was suspected this could be a result of February being a shorter month, however the decline was far from marginal. 

Number of Visits to Each Brand


There were a minority of locations across the country that saw increased foot traffic, but 60-80% of store locations saw a decrease in number of visits and unique visitors between January and February of 2020.

The same analysis completed between January and February of 2019 followed this trend, showing a decrease in visits after the Super Bowl. This helped to rule out the assumption that COVID-19 may have impacted the decline in foot traffic over February 2020.

So, are Super Bowl advertisements worth the investment? In regards to strictly increasing in store visits, it appears not. To dive into how consumer behavior, including spending and foot traffic, is affected by advertisements, download a sample of SafeGraph data for the brand you’re interested in.

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