It’s safe to say -- with scientific certainty in no way influenced by nostalgia -- that the best part of the ads at the Super Bowl is the reveal. So why is the Super Bowl turning into the equivalent of the holiday shopping craze for advertisers, who are releasing these ads before the championship teams have even been decided?
30-second Super Bowl spots this year are going to cost $5 million, up 11% over last year. With cord-cutting gaining popularity, the super-popular live event gives advertisers what they so desperately crave now that their audience is flying away: asses in seats.
But even as consumers sit down to watch the game, their attention is divided between their phones and the TV. Now advertisers are reaching out to fans where they are, and increasingly that is their mobile devices.
Both previewing ads and second-screen activity during the game are more likely to happen on a mobile device. Since mobile video took off last year in a big way, it's likely that the trend will skew even more heavily in mobile's favor.
People watched the equivalent of 1,600 years’ worth of Super Bowl ads last year, with 40% of that viewing happening before the game day, and an additional 300,000 hours happening on the day of the game.
We can’t blame advertisers for chasing after consumers; they are, after all, fickle creatures. And besides, it’s consumers' own fault that they can’t keep their pudgy fingers out of the cookie jar and wait till game day.
Still, looking at how much the landscape has changed even in the last four years, I can’t help but feel a pang of nostalgia for a time when ads weren’t prematurely revealed to the world like Janet Jackson’s bestarred bosom during that “wardrobe malfunction."