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    Retailers, CPG Cos. Suit Up for the Big Game

    Sheetz highlights fresh food in regional TV spot.

    NATIONAL REPORT — The Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers are not the only ones preparing for the National Football League's big game this weekend.

    Convenience store retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are hoping to rack up more than points on the board as millions of consumers tune into Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Feb. 7.

    Lights, Camera, Action

    Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc. is using the big game as a platform to promote its fresh food offerings. In one TV spot, "Dangerous Assumptions," the retailer warns "don’t assume you can get fresh food at a gas station."

    According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sheetz plans to buy regional airtime during the game. The company operates more than 500 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.

    The news outlet also detailed the new spot Kraft Heinz is running during Sunday's matchup. The commercial, "Weiner Stampede," features a field full of dachshunds dressed as hot dogs rushing toward a group of condiments that includes Heinz ketchup and mustard. The song "Can't Live If Living Is Without You" plays in the background.

    Super Bowl advertising regular Anheuser-Busch will also have a strong showing during the game. Michelob ULTRA will lead Anheuser-Busch's advertising charge on Sunday by airing "Breathe" in the coveted position following kickoff. To set the tone for the game — and ads — to follow, the 30-second spot by FCB Chicago will bring the energy and dedication of the Michelob ULTRA drinker to life through the vision of action film director and fitness enthusiast Antoine Fuqua.

    "Breathe" highlights the many ways that Michelob ULTRA drinkers put in the effort to live an active, balanced life, in a disruptive, grittier style that people haven't seen before in the brand's previous marketing, according to Anheuser-Busch.

    The spot also debuts Michelob ULTRA's new tagline and 2016 brand platform, "Brewed for Those Who Go the Extra Mile," which conveys the idea that enjoying a beer socially and living an active life don't need to be mutually exclusive. This is the brand's first Super Bowl appearance since 2010.

    According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), an estimated 188.9 million people will tune into the championship game, up from the estimated 183.7 million who had planned to watch last year. 

    Big Game = Big Money

    Viewers and partygoers will spend an average of $82.19 on food, décor, team apparel and more, according to NRF's Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. This is up from $77.88 last year and the highest in the survey's history. Total Super Bowl 50 spending is expected to top $15.5 billion.

    "Two great teams going head-to-head and a historic game celebrating the 50th Super Bowl could make this one of the most-celebrated football games we've seen in some time," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "We expect retailers will be aggressive with promotions on food and decorations as well as athletic wear and electronics in the coming days as they look to entice those planning to watch the Super Bowl."

    Of those watching the game, a few key highlights include:

    • 34.7 percent (85 million) say the football game is the most important part of the day, while 17.7 percent (43.4 million) say the commercials are, and another 4.5 percent (11 million) say enjoying the fun food is most important;
    • 43.3 million fans (17.7 percent) are planning to throw a Super Bowl party, while another 70 million (28.6 percent) say they'd rather let their friends and relatives do the hosting and attend instead;
    • 79.8 percent of partygoers and viewers will purchase food;
    • 7.7 percent of Americans are planning to purchase a new television to enjoy the game — similar to last year's 8.8 percent;
    • 11.1 percent of those planning to watch the game will buy new team apparel and/or accessories;
    • Nearly eight in 10 Americans say they view the commercials during the Super Bowl as entertainment, while 17.5 percent say the commercials make them aware of advertisers' brands, and 10.3 percent say they influence them to buy products.

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