NBC made history this year when it decided to live stream Super Bowl XLIX and its halftime show featuring Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz in the United States. With the idea to promote pay TV online services, the network started its live stream around noon Eastern Standard Time Sunday. The game won't run on smartphones and tablets, but is available on desktops. Verizon holds the mobile streaming rights.
Reports estimate that online viewership of the last year's Super Bowl attracted about 528,000 viewers in the United States, a small percentage of the 111.5 million who watched on television. Google is trying to change that with its original content on AdBlitz, which streamed a live halftime show -- all original content.
The show focused on advertisements, pranks, and entertainment. The entertainment included YouTube stars completing for the correct answers in a game based on Google's auto-complete search engine tool. The celebrities were give questions and asked to complete sentences based on the most popular searches.
As for the $4.5 million 30-second spots running on broadcast TV, the verdict is still out on whether they captured the hearts and minds of viewers. Historically, the ads are funny and exciting. The majority airing during the first half of the game this year pulled on viewers' heartstrings with a more emotional message -- a different strategy, said Derek Rucker, professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. "Safe also describes many of the ads seen during the first half," he said. "None really swing out of the park and walked the line between controversial and creative."
Some of the advertisements running on television during the Super Bowl had a direct connection with their teaser ad running on Google's YouTube AdBlitz channel. McDonald's followed through with its Give Lovin' Get Lovin ad, where the payment for burgers and fries becomes a random act of love.
The Nissan spot attempted to tell a story in the television advertisement, but lost the focus on the brand. "The message became more about the story and less about the brand," Rucker said. "The problem with the song they used, 'Cat's in the Cradle,' is so powerful that it gets me thinking about the greater parental issues. Let's not talk about cars."
Online, Nissan ran a popular teaser ad called "Crazy Plastic Ball Prank," but the only real connection between the online and the offline ad was the relationship between the son and the father.
There were a handful of new comers to Super Bowl ads. The Associated Press lists 15 new advertisers during this year's Super Bowl this year. Wix.com, a build-your-own Web site company, is one newcomer gambling on Super Bowl ads this year. The site also ran teasers on YouTube's AdBlitz. Carnival cruises will make its first appearance since rebranding all its cruise lines under one name. Loctite also ran a 30-second Super Bowl sport.
Less than half of Super Bowl XLIX's advertisers spending $4.5 million for a 30-second spot to run an ad during the big game will score big on their investments, Brand Keys President Robert Passikoff. The company's 13th annual Super Bowl Ad Engagement Survey reveals that consumers found only 46% of the ads from brands engaging and entertaining. That's slightly less than the 12-year historical average of 50%, based on the ads sharing the spots prior to Super Bowl. Pepsi, WeatherTech, Doritos, GoDaddy, and Dove Men+Care were among them. Brands were highly entertaining, but had low engagement levels. Budweiser, Coke, and McDonald's were among them.