Commentary

Report Says This Year's Super Bowl Game Day Ads Will Also Be Seen Online

It will be 91 degrees today in San Jose, 86 in Chicago and Los Angeles, and 90 degrees in New York.

Let’s talk Super Bowl.

Variety is reporting that for the first time, CBS is telling Super Bowl advertisers that if they want to be in the big game, they’ve also got to put their ads on the streaming video version of the telecast. 

Looking at it one way, that seems to be bold by CBS. If an advertiser wants to spend upward of $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, I’d think you shouldn’t attach strings to it.

On the other hand, the Super Bowl last year on NBC attracted something like 2.5 million additional viewers, who, like the rest of us, wanted to see the ads about as much as they wanted to see the game. (OK, I exaggerate).

And as you’ll recall, very few of those ads ran because less than 20 of the 70 NBC advertisers bought in. The Super Bowl is the only television event for which people look forward to commercials, so it seems remarkable to me that neither advertisers nor NBC figured that out and priced the game accordingly.

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As she blogged the game live, Christina Warren at Mashable wrote: “You would think that the most advertising rich television program of the year would be a perfect boon for online streaming. I mean, who wouldn't want their Super Bowl ad on the live stream? Apparently, lots of national advertisers think differently.

“The stream on NBC's Website contains different ads from the main game and often forgoes ads entirely…” to show an NBC slide that told viewers the game would resume shortly. Daffy!

CBS packaging TV-and-stream together seems to make perfect sense, and be perfectly noncontroversial. I thought last year, after online criticism for not showing the ads,  NBC and about 50 advertisers would have felt like idiots. 

But Variety’s Brian Steinberg says, “The maneuver is one that could have seismic ramifications for the media business, as it essentially forces the event’s big-spending sponsors to consider online impressions and TV ratings at the same time, not separately, as has been common practice.”

Man, I just don’t know if it’s that seismic. But it will indeed be interesting if an advertiser pulls out because it refuses to pay for the online telecast. It also would be interesting if we ever find out because I don’t think an advertiser, agency or the network would ever confess. We’ll see.

RATINGZZZ: Here’s another thing that makes you go hmmm. Or some noise. The Drum is reporting stats from SimilarWeb that claims in June, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” was the most popular show streamed on Hulu, while “Orange Is The New Black” held the same position at the very C.I.A.ishly secretive Neflix. The Drum posts the top 10 for each. It’s not a surprising list, except for the mere presence of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” which finished tenth in June on the Netflix list. Some things are better remembered vaguely than experienced again.

pj@mediapost.com

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