Monday, January 25, 2016 6:16:45 PM

Football is an American institution and in football, there has been no bigger day in the last 50 years than the Super Bowl. Fans spend weeks in preparation, planning parties, projecting who will play, and some are lucky enough to score tickets to the event and see it live. The Super Bowl is not all about the game though. There is a portion of the biggest day in football that actually has nothing to do with football – the commercials. People wait in anticipation for brands to share their most creative, captivating ads.

There has been a shift in recent years though. As we’ve become more reliant on the internet, television is losing its place as the number one device for viewing Super Bowl commercials and related activities. Nielsen showed in its 2015 Q3 Total Audience Report that viewers are migrating away from live viewing with TV viewing falling around 8 percent among 25 to 34 year olds. And this decline is consistent.

The internet is becoming the go-to medium for watching television and special events. While many viewers may still choose to watch the big game on their television, advertisers are realizing the power of not just the internet, but also social media as a significant platform to branding, market placement, and finding relevant prospects. Over the past decade or so we’ve seen brands give sneak peeks at their Super Bowl commercials – and it’s working.

It started with major advertisers placing or “leaking” snippets or previews of their Super Bowl commercials to sites like YouTube. As social media has become such a mainstay in our culture, marketers have used this to air their Super Bowl commercials on their own social media platforms and YouTube channels. Some have even gone as far as to create entire campaigns with commercials that are only shown online.

The truth of the matter is; the internet has opened a window for us to cultivate a culture of almost constant interaction. We’re sharing videos, pictures, messages, and articles. The information super highway no longer has a speed limit and information is being passed around at speeds no one ever anticipated. So in our “share everything” society it is far easier to share video ads that already exist online than it is to share ads shown on a television screen.

Unruly, a video metrics company, released a report on the Super Bowl XLIX that found more than half (51 percent) of people who watched a Super Bowl XLIX video ad said that they watched it only online. The report also showed that Super Bowl ads received more than nine million shares, more than they’ve ever experienced in the past.

Advertisers were testing the waters as they tried out the then new Facebook video player and newcomer Vine. This resulted in a 32 percent increase of ads that were released online as advertisers tried to climb out of that YouTube box and experiment with other formats.

Other takeaways that the Unruly survey found:

  • 30 percent of shares on YouTube occur within the first two days of a video’s launch
  • 70 percent of shares on Facebook occur within the first two days of a video’s launch
  • Most ads that were shared the most evoked a strong emotional response from the viewer

Gone are the days when everyone had to wait until game day to see the highly anticipated Super Bowl commercials. In 2015, more than half of the Super Bowl ads that were shown on television were released online prior to game day. In fact, 39 percent of the total ad shares for Super Bowl commercials happened before Super Bowl Sunday.

Los Angeles is home to more than 7 million NFL fans who will surely be looking to the Times for coverage and analysis of the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl game. Stay ahead of the game by going where the NFL fans are – latimes.com – and get connected.

Categories: Marketing Trends

Tags: Superbowl, marketing tips