YouTube cracked the door a little wider Wednesday, making its Real-Time Ads tool available to an increasing number of brands. The ad unit will allow more advertisers to become part of the conversation as football plays put fans on the edge of their seat or bring them to their feet while watching the big game.
The tool lets advertisers instantly run an ad across YouTube, hundreds of thousands of apps, and more than 2 million sites in the Google Display Network with a message that ties directly to the live moment people just experienced.
Wix.com, which made their Super Bowl debut in 2015, will use Real-Time Ads during this year’s Super Bowl game. YouTube plans to roll out the platform to more brands later this year.
For the eighth consecutive year, YouTube will hold its Ad Blitz program for advertisers, hosting all the ads in one place for viewers to watch, share, and vote. In 2015, viewers watched more than 840 million minutes, equivalent to 1600 years, of Super Bowl ads on YouTube, according to Google.
On average, Ad Blitz participants generated four times as many views of their spots as non-Ad Blitz participants.
This year, YouTube will publish new, original content. The company invited YouTube Creators to produce an exclusive series for YouTube AdBlitz, themed "How to Win Game Day," that will be released the week leading up to the game. Videos will begin going live at the same time.
Last year, there were more than 300,000 hours of big game ads watched in the U.S. while the game aired. That’s double the number of hours we saw the year prior, per YouTube.
Some 37% of the time spent watching Super Bowl commercials on the site in 2015 occurred before game day, per YouTube. Brands that published full versions online before Sunday’s game received an average of 2.2 times more views and 3.1-times more social shares by Monday morning than those that waited until the game to release an ad, according to Pixability Radar.
Real-Time Ads isn't just a way to engage football fans during the big game. Comcast will use Real-Time Ads during the upcoming Oscars, promoting their library of on-demand content during the star-studded movie events of the year.