SB Ads Preview Plus The Streaming Video Explosion

Each year major companies and small businesses that want to make a big impact on their market ponder if buying an ad in the Super Bowl is something that they can afford. As you might expect most of the big beer, car and fast food companies are quick to make their Super Bowl ad buys.
Throughout this column you will see some of the ads slated for this year’s game.

This year CBS will broadcast the game and ad buyers who have placed clients in the telecast say spots are costing their clients between $4.6 million and a little more than $5 million. Over the last five seasons, the approximate asking price for a 30-second Super Bowl ad has increased by an average of 11.1% each year. The Super Bowl itself has drawn $5.9 billion in inflation-adjusted ad spending since 1967 when the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first NFL-AFL Championship Game.

That 1967 game took place in the 100,000 seat Los Angeles Coliseum where about 65,000 people showed up for title game. It was broadcast by both NBC, the rights owners for the AFL and CBS who had the NFL contract.

Super Bowl commercials have become almost as popular as the game itself and this year advertisers will be getting an extra bang for their because of streaming services. For the first time in the half-century old history of this landmark media event, the Super Bowl, one of TV’s most-watched events, will be available to the largest possible viewership in history. Because the game will be streamed to those fans who no longer choose to watch traditional television.

Since NBC broadcast Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, the game has been offered people who wished to stream it on a desktop, laptop or tablet, largely through the presenting network’s own digital properties. But no pun intend the real game changer is the all the Super Bowl ads will be streamed as part of the CBS broadcast being accessed via streaming. That means those who choose to view the game using connected-TV devices including Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast and Amazon Fire will for the first time ever see the game and all the ad spots which is a big boost for those companies buying ads in the Super Bowl 50 telecast.

The audience for live sports streamed in new fashion is growing. CBS said its streaming coverage of the  AFC Championship game between the Broncos and the New England Patriots set records, with triple-digit growth in viewers and minutes streamed compared to last year’s AFC Championship game. More than 1.2 million unique viewers consumed more than 89 million total minutes of coverage across laptops, desktops, connected TV devices, tablets, and mobile phones, with viewers watching for more than 69 minutes each on average.

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According to Variety this Super Bowl will be the first in which digital extensions are being embraced by all the sponsors, not just a handful. Last year, just 18 of more than 70 Super Bowl advertisers chose to put their commercials online for NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX. In selling this year’s game, CBS required all sponsors to run ads in the digital stream as well as the TV broadcast.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.