Originally published in Shopper Marketing Magazine.
CPG marketers might want to take a “staggered marketing communication approach” when it comes to Super Bowl promotions based on the results of a recent national online survey conducted by The Marketing Arm.
Recognizing that “shopper mom” might not be the obvious target, the agency set out to determine the right shoppers, the right reasons and the right time for Super Bowl marketing efforts.
“That’s not to say ‘shopper mom’ isn’t the primary focus in the pantry space and home care space,” says Kevin Hamilton, account planning director at The Marketing Arm. “But we think that has diversified and no one’s really talking about it. People are still talking ‘shopper mom’ at 100% even though it may be 75% to 80%.
“Does it make sense for us to be talking ‘shopper mom’ for certain products and certain occasions, as if this 45-year-old mom is having Super Bowl parties? In this case it probably doesn’t. We wanted to look at [the size of] this opportunity.”
The agency tried to size up the demographics of the Super Bowl party shopper, as well as the planning and purchase behaviors of party hosts and attendees.
In fall 2012, The Marketing Arm conducted the first phase of the study, a quantitative effort with 522 nationally representative participants. In early 2013, the second phase featured a more qualitative inquiry of 300 consumers. The results suggest that CPG’s fortunes rest with a diverse set of party-throwers and party-goers who are receptive to messaging at staggered times.
Key takeaways include:
- Men make up 67% of Super Bowl party hosts.
- 97% of party attendees bring a food or beverage item to the party.
- Of those, nearly 60% say they simply get whatever they think the host may want.
- Female hosts plan their parties as far as two weeks out; male hosts don’t begin planning until about a week prior.
- Attendees don’t think about what they’ll bring until just a few days before the party.
Among the differences between men and women: 62% of men plan less than a week in advance, with 22% planning the day before and 9% not planning at all; 83% of women plan more than a day in advance, with 41% planning at least a week in advance.
“You want to have a staggered marketing communication approach,” Hamilton says. One to two weeks out is time for a huge display and discount, and better ROI would result from focusing on different groups during that time. For female hosts, activate a couple of weeks before the game with female-friendly copy. When activating a week before, use more male-centric messaging.
“Close to game day, really go hard at attendees,” says Hamilton. “What might that look like? Attendee-driven demand . You can help hosts deliver the message about what they need and want at the party. There are dramatic differences on what the host may purchase versus what the attendees may bring. We did see some differences related to gender and category sets. You might see female hosts being more interested in prepared foods. Male (hosts) are more: ‘Give me some chips, some beer.’
PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, a client of The Marketing Arm, focuses its Super Bowl shopper marketing less on the who and more on the what, when and where because NFL is the No. 1 sport for men, women, Hispanics and African Americans, says vice president of marketing Tyler Chapman. He says both attendees and hosts are crucial Frito-Lay consumers.
“The real category growth for our customers have come through leveraging the true demand levers in the occasion versus focusing on demographic differences,” he says.