A study taken by more than 40,000 students across the country following Super Bowl XLVI reveals that ads featuring alcohol continue to influence teens.
On Monday, Feb. 6, 975 students at Coginchaug High School and Strong Middle School were asked to vote on their favorite Super Bowl ads as well as recall products they saw advertised as part of the Drug-Free Action Alliance’s 9th Annual Big Bowl Vote.
The survey was administered by EDGE (Excellent Decisions Guiding Everyday), a student club sponsored by .
M&M’s “Naked M&M" ad ranked number one among teens voting for their favorite commericial. Yet Anheuser-Bush’s “Rescue Dog” ad ranked as the sixth most favorite ad among local teens and Budweiser products were the most memorable products the teens saw advertised.
So what does it all mean? Consider that approximately 114 million Americans watched the 2012 Super Bowl, once again smashing records for the largest viewing television audience ever (Nielsen Company) and that about 20 million American youth (under 21) were among those viewers. Also consider that in 2012 Anheuser-Busch remained the exclusive alcohol advertiser during the Super Bowl with five featured ads at an average of $3.5 million per 30 second spot and you can begin to get the picture. Our teens are exposed to high levels of alcohol advertising during the Super Bowl and the advertisements catch their attention.
Here are the results from the study (Durham/Middlefield students)
Question: What was your favorite commercial?
1 – M&M’s (Naked Brown M&M)
2 - Doritos: (Do Buries Cat)
3 - Doritos: Back-to-life (Sling Shot Baby)
4 - Sketchers (Mr. Quiggley’s Dog Race)
5 – Chevy Silverado (Apocalypse)
6 – Anheuser-Bush Beer (Rescue Dog)
Question: What brand name products do you remember being advertised?
1 – Anheuser-Busch Beer
2 – Doritos
3 – M&M’s
4 – Coca-Cola
5 – Chevy
6 - Pepsi
Across the nation, students choose the M&M's commerical as their favorite, although the beer commericials ranked fourth. The beer commericial was the second and third most memorable ad, on average, for middle school and high school students, respectively.
"Last year was the first year Budweiser wasn't the most highly recognized ad by teenagers," said Jane Moen, co-advisor of EDGE and program director for DMYFS. "It used to be that the Bud ads were really pretty funny. There wasn't as much humor in the Bud ads and I'm interested to find out if that was a conscious decision."
Moen said research shows that the more youth are exposed to alcohol advertising, the more likely they are to start drinking or drink more if they are already consuming alcohol underage.
"If they're seeing the ads that show people drinking and having fun, parents need to teach them the responsibilities of alcohol and the dangers of alcohol because they're only seeing alcohol as a fun thing connected to sports and fun events," she said.
Patch got this reaction from EDGE students participating in the study:
"I didn't remember any alcohol commercials personally." - Amber Leigh MacIntyre, EDGE member and Coginchaug senior.
"I thought it was a lot better this year. The alcohol [commericials] were aimed less towards kids I thought. I think the advertisers are more cautious in response to surveys like this." - Ben Plant, EDGE member and Coginchuag senior.
"Some of the commercials show kids at parties looking cool. Other people might think it's cool and try to do it." - Zack Stublarec, EDGE member and Coginchaug student.
"I thought definitely that one of the beer [commercials] was pretty funny but that's what they try to do, they try to make them really funny. It does make me feel like they're trying to pursuade people to buy it even if they're underage, they don't care." - Mary Grace Fiondella, EDGE member and 7th grader at Strong School.
"I don't remember the beer [commercials]. It doesn't bother me." - Emily Mallinson, EDGE member and 7th grader at Strong School.