Does the hype around Super Bowl advertising transfer over to video advertising?
The Super Bowl exists in its own rarified world, given its unparalleled reach. Advertisers see it as the ultimate opportunity to efficiently expose the biggest audience possible in one hit. In a sense, it’s the opposite of where video advertising is headed, where targeting only the most desired audience segment with highly relevant ads is increasingly the main goal.
What’s your favorite example of a brand maximizing cross-screen viewer engagement during the Super Bowl?
It’s hard to think of one and this is my major issue with Super Bowl ads. While they’re often very creative and fun, on the whole they rarely do much more than include a URL or hashtag at the end to spur engagement. While we look at one another after an ad runs and frequently say “That was so funny!” or “That was so cool!” we do little more than that. It’s still surprising to me that advertisers have not chosen to emphasize follow on engagement more strongly.
What do you think about the trend of brands “leaking” their Super Bowl ads online ahead of game day?
I think it’s very smart. Pre-releasing Super Bowl ads builds excitement and awareness. When you’re spending $5 million for a 30-second spot, plus the investment in the creative itself, driving maximum viewership is critical. Online video has created a whole new platform for ads to generate a stronger ROI.
Do you have a ritual/tradition for watching the Super Bowl?
No. Every year is different and a lot depends on who’s playing. If the Patriots are in, I’ll be a dedicated viewer. If teams I care less about I’m less engaged. Two years ago I set up 8 different screens to test different streaming options. That was fun (see attached picture) although I’m not sure my neighbors appreciated me hogging all that bandwidth.
What’s one of your favorite Super Bowl commercial of all time and why?
Volkswagen’s “The Force” from 2012 is still at the top of my list. Everything about it is perfect. I’m also a sucker for all ads with cute talking animals. They’re irresistible.