This Year's Super Bowl Ads: Not Share Worthy

It’s early, but then again, it’s not. Most of the sharing of this year’s Super Bowl ads will be over in about a day, so it’s not too early to say it:

This year’s batch of Super Bowl ads appears to have been a bust.

Unruly, the ad tech firm that monitors and helps foster online video sharing of commercials,  noted this morning that this year’s crop was an epic fail.

That’s my take, anyway.

“Despite a number of brands releasing their ads early online, this year has seen a significant decrease in sharing activity from the previous year,” Unruly’s David Waterhouse blogged this morning. “The top 10 ads have so far generated 2,889,156 shares online altogether – a 36% decrease on what the top 10 managed at the same time last year (4,485,297) and only slightly higher than in 2014 (2,460,075).”

It’s quite possible those figures, and my dim estimation, might not be spot on. Devra Prywes, Unruly’s VP marketing and insight, noted in an seeming Monday-morning-quarterbacking email to me.  

“There was one significant - but easy to correct - misstep this Super Bowl,” she says.   

“The advertisers that didn’t release both a Facebook and YouTube version of their digital ad missed a huge opportunity to trend. Facebook shares were often 4-5 times higher than shares of the YouTube format -- and we even saw some that were 50x more viral in the Facebook version. A multi-platform plan is crucial. If every brand released on both platforms, we might be seeing a very different top 10 list this morning.”

The most share commercial Doritos’ ‘Ultrasound’ spot in which a Dorito-chomping dad-to-be gets a kind of in vitro endorsement from the babe inside. It’s been shared 893,465 times so far, as of this morning.

Unruly is updating its tabulation of the top shares, but here’s a run down the list of others in the preliminary top ten:

2. T-Mobile’s “Restricted Bling” (Extended version)  with 346,854 shares;

3. Budweiser’s “#Give A Damn” with Helen Mirren, with 301,317 shares, wide enough to entertain the possibility that calling someone a “pillock” will catch on over here;

4. Pokemon’s  “#Pokemon20: Pokémon Super Bowl Commercial” with 297,706 shares;

5. Heinz’s extended version of the  “Wiener Stampede” with 295,805 shares;

6. Hyundai’s “First Date” with 245, 656 shares;

7. Mountain Dew’s  “#PuppyMonkeyBaby” with 154,481 shares, about 154,000 of them prefaced with a comment along the lines of “Ewwww. Gross!”;

8. The short version of “Restricted Bling” with 124,551 shares;

9. T-Mobile’s ““Drop the Balls” featuring an ecstatic Steve Harvey supposedly correcting Verizon’s bad information rather than his own. It was one of my favorites but I swear I did not share it 113,668 times.  Some of you did;

10. The Heinz Wiener Stampede  short (cocktail wienies?) version with 111,643 shares;

More people saw Super Bowl ads on YouTube via smartphones or tablets (60%) than on PCs, Google said today. That’s a first.

Fans spent 300,000 hours watching Super Bowl ads on the social media service during the game, CNN Money said, and a total of 1 million hours before, after and during. YouTube’s list of the most viewed (as opposed to the most shared) differs almost entirely from Unruly’s.

Tops on its list was Hyundai’s “The Chase.” It’s been seen over 18 million times. And really, it’s not so hot.  

Hardly any of the game commercials worked with me, with the exception of the Prius ad, “The Longest Chase,” which was one of those rare Super Bowl commercials that sold the car rather than just being funny or clever, like Honda’s “A New Truck To Love,” featuring sheep singing Queen’s “Somebody To Love.” Why?

Related to the game, CBS this morning is reporting that a “record audience’ streamed the game. But Re/Code notes, they say that without any figures. Those should be coming sometime soon.

Apple TV faltered with its take-up of the game; that got fixed. But of course, that Apple device looks so slick, who could complain?
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