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Harrison’s Hill to evaluate Super Bowl commercials

Saginaw Valley State University student Dan Hill, a marketing major from Harrison, will participate in a focus group evaluating this year’s Super Bowl commercials.

The focus group is organized by Rama Yelkur, dean of the College of Business and Management at Saginaw Valley State University, who is one of the nation’s leading experts on whether viewers find Super Bowl ads to be likable.

The stakes are high; a 30-second commercial during this year’s Super Bowl broadcast costs $4 million. Yelkur has studied Super Bowl ads for 20 years and says there are certain factors that can predict whether an ad will appeal to viewers.

“Some of the top reasons are because it’s funny, there’s music or there are animals in it,” she said. “The presence of kids also makes it likable.

“The presence of celebrities is give-or-take,” Yelkur added. “The audience is already hyped up, but you get another stage of hype with celebrities.”

Along with her late research colleague Chuck Tomkovick, Yelkur’s work has been published in leading scholarly journals and has been cited widely in popular media, including Advertising Age, CNN Money, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.

Yelkur joined SVSU in July 2013 and will continue her Super Bowl ad research, including SVSU students in the process. The focus group will evaluate this year’s commercials in SVSU classroom Science East 116 during the game.

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