The Super Bowl isn't just a football game—it's the main tradition on a day that has become a national holiday and an overall spectacle that lasts for two weeks.
We don't just talk about the Super Bowl on that Sunday—we spend two weeks immersed in discussions about the game, dissecting and prognosticating the event more than any other individual game in American sports.
While sports such as the NHL, NBA and college basketball are in full swing, a huge amount of television, newspaper and magazine coverage will revolve around the Super Bowl.
Which is why it's brilliant that advertisers are joining this two-week party rather than waiting for the game itself to drop their ads. Consider the following, from Stuart Elliott of The New York Times:
Lifting the veil before the Super Bowl “has a halo effect,” said Mike Sheldon, chief executive at Deutsch L.A., the agency that created both commercials and the “Bark Side” teaser, by encouraging Super Bowl viewers to watch a spot when it turns up during the game.
“They like to be let in on the joke, let in on the story, early,” Mr. Sheldon added. Deutsch L.A. is part of the Deutsch division of Lowe & Partners Worldwide, owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies.
“In previous years, Super Bowl commercials were single-day lightning,” said Suzie Reider, head of industry development for the global video team at Google. “Now, it feels more like rolling thunder.”
As Elliott notes, last year Volkswagen of America released its "The Force" ad for the Passat on YouTube, a video that was viewed 14 million times before the Super Bowl.
This year, they've done the same with "The Bark Side of the Force."
Other companies have gotten into the act, such as GoDaddy.com, Lexus and Audi, to name a few. (If you want an early preview of these ads, check out this article from Bleacher Report's Alex Kay.)
The commercials at the Super Bowl are as much a part of the spectacle as the game itself. There's a reason I'm writing about them right now, after all.
So companies that take advantage of the two weeks of hype before the Super Bowl by releasing sneak previews of their ads are doing a bit of brilliant math—they're turning 30 seconds into two weeks of publicity.
And that added exposure is priceless.
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