Wrapping up Super Bowl – an adverts bonanza

US network Fox said that its coverage of the Super Bowl NFL American football championship game on Sunday attracted an average of 111.5 million viewers to set a new all-time audience record for a television program in the country. This compares with audiences of 111.3 million in 2012 and 110 million in 2011.  Fox also provided live coverage on Spanish-language channel Fox Deportes and, for the first time, the Fox Sports Go and FoxSports.com digital media platforms. Fox Deportes attracted an average of 561,000 viewers – the largest non-football audience in the channel’s history – while the live digital stream generated an average of 528,000 viewers, a new record for Fox, according to the Adobe Analytics audience measurement company.

The record-breaking trend also extended to the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime show, with 115.3 million viewers watching Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform. That exceeds the 110.8 million who tuned in to Beyonce last year and the prior record of 114.0 million with Madonna in 2011. In the US city stakes, Kansas City had the largest viewing followed by Seattle, Indianapolis and New Orleans. Host market New York delivered its best Super Bowl rating since 1987.

According to the NFL, Fox’s broadcast reached 198 countries and territories in more than 25 languages. Media from 24 countries provided on-site coverage, and more than 100 stations broadcast live from Radio Row at the Super Bowl Media Centre in New York’s Times Square.

By different counts there were some 24 million tweets related to the game…

Super Bowl demonstrates that TV still has the power to connect in a way no other medium can, and it provides an avenue for seeing something spectacular. It also shows that     advertising has become an event in itself.  Prime spots were sold at some $4 million per 30 seconds and many adverts were leaked or part-shown ahead of the game in order to capture and engage.  Jaguar North America announced record levels of consumer engagement were achieved for the growing British luxury brand with the launch of its "British Villains" marketing campaign, led by the broadcast debut of "Rendezvous," its 60-second cinematic television advertisement that broadcast during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl.

There is a control room for advertising broadcasting and this clip gives an insight into its workings, the ‘ad meter’ for SuperBowl…click here.

But it all comes down to what you as an individual like, what snatches your attention, what intrigues you. And each advertiser has a different stratehyin mind, albeit it is ultimately about brand and sales.

Apparently, the most popular advert was Budweiser’s, featuring a puppy falling in love with a horse … click here to watch.

Google — a big advertising company that doesn’t advertise — debuted at the Super Bowl. Their ad tells the story of a romance helped along by a series of Google searches conducted by (one is left to imagine) a young man who finds love after a simple plan to study abroad in Paris turns into love, marriage and a need to know how to assemble a crib. It’s a boy-meets-girl story. Doesn’t look too exciting on my computer but reports have it that on giant screens it was hit. Click here for the Google advert. 

If you’d like to read a well constructed review of the game itself, from The Economist…click here.

Finally, keep a perspective on these televised events…the world’s biggest television event so far this year isn’t America’s Super Bowl, but a live, almost five-hour spectacular of song, dance, and skits hosted by China’s state television network, CCTV. The annual Spring Festival Gala, also known as chun wan, which took place this past weekend as Chinese families celebrated the Lunar New Year, garnered an estimated 800 million viewers.  60% of households tuned in to the Spring Festival Gala, broadcast by CCTV.

Whether it was any more exciting than Super Bowl is a moot one…

Eric Winton

Director, New Millennium Business

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