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Monday, January 28, 2008

Superbowl Ads Showing at MySpace, AOL & YouTube Video Sites

The year 2008 brings the Superbowl commercials of about 40 advertisers, running about 60 ads (Anheuser Busch has booked 10 slots and several others have more than one). During the three to four hour spectacle on Sunday February 3rd the ads will play to an estimated 90 to 100 million viewers on the upcoming Superbowl Sunday game day. And here are some shocking numbers - And at least another 100 million views were recorded on Super Bowl commercial video archive sites at AOL, YouTube, CBS, MySpace and other game day commercial video archives online. Those are some startling numbers for any advertiser, and may make those premium prices worthwhile.

With Superbowl ads costing upwards of 3 million dollars per 30 second spot this year at Fox, advertisers are getting a massive exposure beyond those fleeting moments on live television. Those Superbowl commercials were also saved amongst multiple additional TV commercial specialty sites, with unknown audience size and imprecise tallies of video views.

Looking at marketing smarts (or lack thereof) both AOL and YouTube have put up redirects on their 2007 Superbowl pages which take viewers to the new 2008 commercials pages, while CBS shows a limp "Download the latest players" notice, asking viewers to download either Windows Media Player or RealPlayer to view the commercials from last year. MySpace 2007 SuperSpots page, with 43,400 "Friends" has a floating javascript badge which encourages visitors to click through to the 2008 SuperBowlAds page.

The Wall Street Journal today covered the expansion of TV ads to the online venue in an article titled, "The Super Bowl Blitz Expands in Online Arena" and that story included the following quote:

The different online venues often attract a sizable audience. Last year, the Super Bowl ad poll on YouTube drew more than 28 million online viewers and 167,000 votes for the best Super Bowl commercial, Google said. AOL says its videos of the TV ads were watched more than 40 million times last year. This compares with the roughly 90 million viewers who tuned into the big game on TV in 2007.
Google has now launched its "Adblitz" section dedicated to the 2008 Super Bowl commercials.

But MySpace has also (a bit more quietly) rolled out its version of the SuperBowl Ads Commercials archive. Today also saw the updating of their Superbowl Countdown Widget to include the logos of the Patriots and the Giants on the properly colored helmets of the two teams playing on Sunday. (They had previously rotated the official colors of all NFL teams.)

I hear that this magic widget will flip over a couple of days after this years game to properly countdown to Superbowl 43, scheduled for February 1st 2009! (363 days 23hour 59 minutes...)

In other developments in this space, controversial advertiser has also marketed for much of the year with PPC ads which turn up on Search Engine results pages (SERPS) each time someone searches for "Commercials" or "Superbowl Ads" in regular searches.

Clicking on those Adwords ads takes you to the GoDaddy Commercials Archive, where you can see all their banned (and unapproved, er rejected ads from this year and previous years). Today there have been a couple of new PPC ads showing up for other TV Commercial sites, including a site called FireBrand which apparently has a cable program (ION TV) showing the best of television commercials as a regular show which, based on the site, looks as though they do a bit of commentary and just show great commercials. That's some business model there. All ads all the time - I wonder how you distinguish between the show and the actual commercials?

PS: They are obviously astute marketers as they originally grabbed my attention by making a comment on my blog in a previous post. ;-) Interesting site guys.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Super Bowl Commercials Better than Football?

I've got to admit that I am not now, nor have I ever been a football fan. My favorite moments in any game have always been those all too brief breaks from the action on the field which occur only once every year in February - Super Bowl Commercials. Not only do I fail to follow football, I've never been able to join in the office sports banter because I don't watch "The Game" on Monday Night Football, nor do I care a whit for football stats, scores and/or records.

The really interesting part about most football games are the highlight reels and the "Play of the Game" spots where the true action is - they're kinda like football commercials. They get us to watch the entire three hour game based on 30 seconds of action shown during highlight reels, making us believe there was that much action the entire game. Uh-uh.

I've got to admit that of all football games, the SuperBowl game itself is usually OK for a non-football fanatic like me. The BEST teams, the most action, the greatest half-time entertainment and when there isn't much action on the field, we cut to - guess what - those cool Superbowl Commercials.

One reason I LOVE most SuperBowl ads is because they cost the advertisers so much money to produce and air, that they polish and perfect those ads until they couldn't possibly be better (a bit like those game highlight reels). The expensive advertising gets tons of scrutiny from all angles.

Everyone looks at the ads for their creativity and memorability, but SEO Chris Boggs rated the advertisers for their search engine marketing savvy and SEO smarts in a Search Engine Watch review of Superbowl advertiser SEO/M.The New York Times devoted a two page article to the Superbowl Commercials and then they had an extremely long "Fifth Down" blog post reviewing most of the commercials - which drew 100 comments from readers!

There are additional reviews of those commercials offered by ad industry journal "Advertising Age" on their web site. Not only does "Ad Age" offer reviews, they have a collection of articles about those ads every year. This year's Superbowl commercial articles are here. Reprisemedia did another annual critique of how well advertisers leveraged the web in their Superbowl Commercials in a "Search Marketing Scorecard"(PDF download) and a blog post on the ads by Kate Zimmerman in the Reprise Media "Search Views" blog.

And last, but not least, the big game and it's marketing hype have drawn scrutiny from the Nielsen Company, who are watching all the hype and analyzing every bit of it. Here's a YouTube video from Nielsen's Pete Blachshaw talking about the Super Bowl Marketing machine and announcing a Super Bowl Blog to talk in depth about it all.

I love to talk about the Superbowl Ads. I'll bet you even remember last years' best commercials. Give it a shot. Remember "Click a mouse?" The main characters in this Blockbuster Video ad are Carl, the rabbit, who was given voice by James Woods, while Jim Belushi gave Ray the Guinea Pig his voice and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait provides the voice of the poor mouse, the spot includes a closing voiceover from Alec Baldwin.

How do I know this? Because Blockbuster and their ad agency, Doner, were so proud of the ad, they issued a press release the day before the game.

Here's a quote from the release:

"When Carl and Ray made their commercial debut during the 2002 Super Bowl, they scored the fifth-highest recall among consumers according to research from Ipsos-Reid Express Omnibus. The spot also ranked in the top 10 in popularity in USA Today's annual "Ad Meter" poll, and the campaign went on to win four CLIO Awards."
Here's the ad:

Click a mouse

More Superbowl Commercial Videos

Wow! That's serious stuff, press releases announcing commercials, online reviews of 50 television commercials aired during the game, consumer research on those ads, SEO commentary and critiques, Nielsen Company scrutiny and analysis, a USA Today "Ad Meter Poll" and advertising industry awards? How often do you see that much hype around a 30 second commercial?

While I don't particularly care to sit through three hour football games, there is one thing I love about sports on the web - you can follow only those things you have a true interest in - through widgets - without paying attention to all the stuff surrounding the game, including that droning blather by ex-coaches, retired players and "personalities" with endless sports blah, blah commentary.

Below I am showing a group of widgets featuring only the highlights (stuff I care about), which includes game schedules and scores. No Fluff, No Hot Air from tired and retired players, ex-coaches and "tv personalities" - just the facts ma'am. That's sports the way I like it - only the highlights. Here's the stuff I care about:


It's been a few years since an estimated 90 million people watched that Janet Jackson "Wardrobe Malfunction" during her Superbowl halftime show musical performance in 2004. Not to worry, provided a wardrobe malfunction parody Superbowl commercial in 2005 providing another spin on that idea and got the ad banned, causing considerable controversy

The domain name seller has run Pay-Per-Click ads which appear anytime the phrase "Superbowl Commercial" is searched. Here's a page hosting their Superbowl ads. GoDaddy continues to provide a minute and thirty second extended version of the wardrobe malfunction video on their own web site, along with all yearly GoDaddy Superbowl commercials. GoDaddy is set to be on the roster of advertisers for 2008

All the ads can be found at each of the online video sites, including YouTube, iFilm, AOL Video and MySpaceTV. The online videos can be embedded in blogs and web sites, so not only can you talk about your favorite commercial from the Superbowl, you can show it right on your own MySpace page.

And now I find myself counting the days until Superbowl XLII (42) from Phoenix on February 3rd. Here's a Superbowl Countdown widget which can be embedded in your own blog or web site.

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