Persuasion Notebook offers quick hits on the business of persuasion from The Globe and Mail's marketing and advertising reporter, Susan Krashinsky. Read more on The Globe's marketing page and follow Susan on Twitter @Susinsky.
No one watches ads.
In an age of recorded television, where the fast-forward button is always at our fingertips, that is the assumption. But at least when it comes to Super Bowl commercials, people are still watching.
Last year's big game spots have been viewed more than 256 million times, cumulatively, on YouTube, Google Inc. said this week.
And the tech giant is expanding its venue for advertisers looking to wring as much digital exposure out of the cost of a Super Bowl spot (priced at roughly $4-million for 30 seconds in the U.S. broadcast, according to reports).
Each year, YouTube has a dedicated channel called AdBlitz, where the highly anticipated, big-budget commercials are posted online as they air on the broadcast. This year, for the first time, it is also hosting the increasingly popular teaser ads that companies put on the Web to boost anticipation in the weeks leading up to kickoff.
In olden days, a company guarded its Super Bowl commercial plans closely; but in recent years, the competition for consumers' attention has shifted in part to social media. That means more and more advertisers are running what are essentially previews of their Big Game spots – commercials for commercials.
Now, YouTube is creating a central clearinghouse for that pre-game ad action.
The AdBlitz channel has an added use for Canadian viewers: because of how television rights work, the advertisers who pay big bucks to be part of the U.S. broadcast would need to buy time here as well for their glitzy commercials to appear in the Canadian broadcast. Some do, but those that do not are not visible here. (More on why that is, here.) So for the particular type of person who considers the over-the-top expensive ads to be part of the Super Bowl fun, the Internet has become a convenient Super Bowl companion (and an easy way for those U.S. advertisers to make inroads with Canadian viewers for free.)