Although more than three-quarters of Americans who plan to tune in this Sunday — 78% — say they watch the Super Bowl for the game, a notable proportion — 22% — say the commercials are the main attraction.
As usual, this year’s Super Bowl ads are generating a lot of attention, but the introduction of advocacy ads is adding a new layer to the discussion. Networks have, previously, been hesitant to include issue-related commercials during Super Bowl coverage. And, nearly one-half of Americans — 49% — agree with that precedent, saying it is inappropriate for such ads to be allowed during the game. 44%, on the other hand, believe they are appropriate.
Although 49% of Americans oppose the inclusion of advocacy ads during the Super Bowl, 60% think CBS has made the right move to allow a pro-life ad sponsored by the group Focus on the Family, featuring Heisman Trophy winner and Florida Gators Quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother. 30%, though, think it should not air, and 10% are unsure.
Overall, how should CBS make the decision about whether to air responsibly-produced advocacy ads? If it were up to the American people, 34% report the network should pick and choose the issue-related commercials to be included while 25% believe all advocacy ads should be allowed on a first-come basis. 36% don’t think they should be aired at all.