Survey Says Super Bowl LVI’s Rap-Focused Halftime Show Will Be a Hit With the Youths

Gen Zers much prefer this year’s performers, including Eminem and Snoop Dogg, to last year’s headliner, The Weeknd
February 09, 2022 at 11:49 am UTC

The Super Bowl halftime show often gets as much press as the game itself, with its standout performances and meme-worthy moments. This year looks to be no different, as Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar are set to take the stage Sunday night in Los Angeles in a celebration of West Coast rap. 

Last year’s performance headlined by The Weeknd was designed to draw in Gen Zers and millennials, but new polling data suggests that this year’s lineup is likely to be an even bigger hit among those coveted demographics.

Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show Should Score Points With Gen Zers, Millennials

Share of U.S. adults who hold a favorable view of the following Super Bowl LV and Super Bowl LVI halftime performers:
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*Data on The Weeknd was recorded prior to last year’s Super Bowl.
Polls were conducted Jan. 25-26, 2021, and Jan. 31, 2022, among a representative sample of roughly 2,200 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

What the numbers say 

  • This year’s halftime performers hold higher favorability ratings than last year’s headliner, The Weeknd. Among the 2022 featured musicians, Snoop Dogg was most popular among adults overall with a favorability rating of 61 percent. Last year, The Weeknd was favored by just 38 percent of adults. 
  • Much like last year, Gen Zers and millennials proved to be the biggest fans of the halftime performers. Emimem (81 percent) was most popular among Gen Zers, while Snoop Dogg narrowly edged out the Detroit-based rapper among millennials. 
  • Millennials and Gen Zers were also most interested in watching the concert, at 73 percent and 77 percent, respectively. Interest was also high among NFL fans (63 percent) and Democrats (64 percent), while baby boomers (27 percent) and Republicans (40 percent) were least interested in tuning in.
  • The overlap of NFL fans with fans of the halftime artists was also higher this year compared to last year. A 2021 survey found that just 29 percent of adults were fans of both the NFL and The Weeknd. Fifty-five percent of adults, meanwhile, said they are fans of both the halftime performers and the NFL this year. 

The impact 

The popularity of these artists – particularly among younger generations – could be a boon for broadcaster NBC, which, along with its network rivals, is still trying to find ways to engage younger, streaming-savvy consumers. Sunday’s halftime performance could also drive streaming interest in the featured artists as generations young and old discover, or rediscover, their iconic tracks. 

Last year, The Weeknd was coming off a year spent dominating the charts with his album, “After Hours,” and its lead single, “Blinding Lights.” But this year’s lineup hasn’t released much new music in recent years. Lamar’s most recent album dropped in 2017, while Dr. Dre’s last album was released in 2015. Blige, perhaps taking advantage of the big moment, is set to release her latest LP just days before the big game. Stepping onto one of music’s biggest stages days later, in front of an estimated 100 million pairs of eyeballs, is as good of a marketing opportunity as it gets. 

The Jan. 31, 2022 poll was conducted among a representative sample of 2,211 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Sarah Shevenock previously worked at Morning Consult as a reporter covering the business of entertainment.

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