Press release

Bain & Company: Brands betting big on Super Bowl LIV reach an audience 2.6x more engaged with ads and 2.0x more engaged with sponsorship placements

Bain & Company: Brands betting big on Super Bowl LIV reach an audience 2.6x more engaged with ads and 2.0x more engaged with sponsorship placements

Next-day analysis using Mensio, an AI-powered TV analytics platform developed in partnership between Bain & Company and Hive, highlights insights from the commercials and sponsorships within TV advertising’s biggest event

  • February 03, 2020
  • min read

Press release

Bain & Company: Brands betting big on Super Bowl LIV reach an audience 2.6x more engaged with ads and 2.0x more engaged with sponsorship placements

Boston – Feb. 3, 2020 – Only one team can hoist the Lombardi Trophy each year, but there were many winners among the advertisers and sponsors present in this year’s Super Bowl.

For the second year, Bain Media Lab and AI pioneer Hive partnered to analyze marketing within and around the Super Bowl using Mensio, an AI-powered TV advertising and sponsorship analytics platform developed in partnership between Bain and Hive.

The research relied on analysis of Mensio’s creative library, powered by metadata created using Hive’s proprietary computer vision models and Hive’s consensus-driven data labeling platform which leverages a distributed workforce of more than 1.5 million registered contributors.

Sponsors capture significant Super Bowl screen time

While Super Bowl ads may lead water cooler conversations this week, official league and broadcast sponsors achieved significant time on screen during yesterday’s Super Bowl through camera-visible signage, product placement and digital billboards in the telecast.

Using Hive’s proprietary logo detection model, trained to automatically detect exposure for more than 4,000 brands with more than 200 million individual pieces of human-labeled training data, Bain Media Lab measured the quantity and quality of logo placements within the TV broadcast of the game and halftime show.

Consistent with last year’s Super Bowl, the 3 most exposed brands were Nike, Bose, and Pepsi. Nike, the NFL’s uniform and on-field apparel supplier, logged more than 45 minutes of cumulative Super Bowl screen time with swooshes visible on uniforms, cleats and other sideline apparel. Bose, the league’s official headset provider, and Pepsi, which again sponsored the game’s halftime show, each totaled more than 3 minutes of cumulative screen time.

Among sponsors, Gatorade’s camera-visible exposure grew the most year-over-year, tallying 3 minutes and 12 seconds on screen in Super Bowl LIV spread across bottles, cups, coolers and towels, surging from 1 minute and 20 seconds of time on screen during last year’s big game.

In total, eleven brands surpassed 30 seconds of cumulative brand exposure within the Super Bowl LIV telecast (not including the pre-game show and excluding league, team and network brands). These brands included:

  1. Nike (45 minutes, 18 seconds)
  2. Bose (3 minutes, 18 seconds)
  3. Pepsi (3 minutes, 16 seconds)
  4. Gatorade (3 minutes, 12 seconds)
  5. Hard Rock (2 minutes, 49 seconds)
  6. Verizon (2 minutes, 3 seconds)
  7. New Era (1 minute, 25 seconds)
  8. Microsoft (1 minute, 25 seconds)
  9. Adidas (1 minute, 11 seconds)
  10. Under Armour (50 seconds)
  11. Amazon (34 seconds)

Among the top brands, Hard Rock, Amazon, and Pepsi achieved the highest average Brand Prominence Score, a proprietary measure of the size, clarity, centrality, and share of voice for a given exposure. Hard Rock, which holds stadium naming rights, earned its prominence through in-stadium signage whereas exposure for Amazon and Pepsi was highlighted by recurrent digital overlays on the telecast.

Are people really watching?

The reported price of a 30-second Super Bowl spot in this year’s game rose to as much as $5.6 million, powered by continued demand from advertisers. While Super Bowl advertisements are objectively differentiated in their ability to reach a uniquely large live audience, many marketers have also long contended that Super Bowl ads reach a more engaged audience. Using data from TVision, a company focused on measuring how viewers engage with television content, Bain confirmed this hypothesis applying computer vision technology to viewing behaviors during the NFL season and yesterday’s finale.

Compared to 2019 regular season NFL games, yesterday’s Super Bowl delivered a dramatically more engaged audience. The thrilling game delivered 2.0X more eyes-on-screen attention as a percentage of total viewership for the game itself, and the sponsorship exposure within it. Even more significant, commercials achieved 2.6X more eyes-on-screen attention than commercials during NFL regular season games.

The analysis also revealed two key trends specific to commercials in this year’s Super Bowl:

Dedicated advertisers lead an evolving mix: Super Bowl advertisements have become annual traditions for some companies – 22 advertisers representing 52 percent of national airtime in this year’s Super Bowl were also present during last year’s game, where they commanded 72 percent of national airtime. These included stalwarts like Anheuser-Busch, which led all advertisers in airings and airtime in both Super Bowl LIII and Super Bowl LIV, this year spread across spots for Budweiser, Bud Light, and Michelob Ultra.

Super Bowl LIV also brought its share of new advertisers, with 48 percent of airtime coming from 25 new advertisers not present during Super Bowl LIII. Some brands were returning to the Super Bowl, such as The Hershey Company, which bought its first Super Bowl ad since 2008 to amplify awareness for the newly rebranded Reese’s Take5 bar. For others, including Facebook which promoted Facebook Groups, this year was the inaugural Super Bowl commercial.

The net effect resulted in a different mix of advertisers than the regular season and playoffs. Notably, consumer goods companies claimed 33 percent of airtime in Super Bowl LIV, compared to just 8 percent during the entirety of this year’s NFL regular season and playoffs. The category’s Super Bowl presence was led by multiple spots from Anheuser-Busch, Proctor & Gamble, and PepsiCo.

Financial services and insurance shrank from 17 percent of airtime in the rest of the season to only 7 percent of Super Bowl LIV airtime, a result of several top advertisers in the category choosing to place ads in the pregame show or taking the game off altogether.

Advertisers add celebrities, greater diversity: Data studying trends in casting shows advertisers continuing to support the zeitgeist surrounding gender equality and diversity & inclusion. Women were present in 90 percent of spots this year, up from 74 percent last year. Similarly, 82 percent of spots this year featured people from more diverse backgrounds, compared to 64 percent of spots last year.

The most significant increase in casting this year was a surge in spots featuring actors and actresses, musicians, and other public figures, featured in 65 percent of Super Bowl LIV ads compared to just 36 percent of spots last year.

Editor's note: To arrange an interview with Dan Calpin or Laura Beaudin, contact Dan Pinkney at or +1 646 562 8102.

Hive is an AI company specialized in computer vision and deep learning, focused on powering innovators across industries with practical AI solutions and data labeling. For more information, visit

TVision is a TV performance metrics company focused on measuring how viewers engage with television content. For more information, visit

Note: Published Bain Media Lab research relies solely on third-party data sources and is independent of any data or input from clients of Bain & Company

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