Super Bowl 50 Expected To Hit 260 Million Eyeballs


There are two reasons for watching the Super Bowl: football and commercials. Super Bowl Sunday is probably the only time non-football fans will sit through an entire game just to enjoy the commercials and, of course, to see the half-time show. And advertisers know this.

In ten years alone, total viewership has increased 27% from approximately 86 million viewers to 109 million viewers. This data, along with technological advancements giving advertisers the ability to fragment TV viewing, is making commercials a stronger tool than ever before. Looking even farther back at Super Bowl 1, the Greenbay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs had to redo their second-half kickoff because NBC needed to wait for the Winston cigarettes commercial to finish. This hiccup showed how important the commercials were to networks and viewers. Even today, the importance of commercials has continued to carry enough weight that marketers will drop $5 million for 30 seconds of airtime. With over 260 million expected viewers for Super Bowl 50 on CBS, brands are getting an even bigger opportunity to showcase their product and/or service.

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Paul Christman (L) and Frank Gifford (R) were commentators for NBC and CBS’s simulcast of Super Bowl I.
Paul Christman (L) and Frank Gifford (R) were commentators for NBC and CBS’s simulcast of Super Bowl I.

Even though advertising doesn’t have a great reputation following 2015’s Volkswagen diesel-emissions scandals, Chipotle’s e. coli outbreaks, and even FanDuel’s insider-trading blowups, agencies have not lost momentum in providing high-quality, hopefully innovative, commercials for their clients.

Here is what to expect for Super Bowl 50’s advertisements:

  • Uplifting and Humorous Messages

    David Angelo, founder at David&Goliath and veteran Super Bowl advertiser for Kia, sees a “shift from somber, doom-and-gloom themes to focus on more uplifting and humorous messages.” Scott Goodson, founder CEO at StrawberryFrog, is also seeing a similar trend: “TV is filled with politicians talking about how the country is falling apart. The work that will last will make people feel better about themselves and where the country is going.”

  • Less Entertainment, More Information

    As TV advertisements continue to be more and more expensive, “it’s almost too expensive now to just to entertain people,” says Noel Cottrel, chief creative officer of Fitzgerald & Co, who did E*Trade’s famous talking baby campaigns.

  • The TV Is Now The Second Screen

    James Robinson, executive creative director at Martin Agency who worked on the God-father themed ad for Audi in 2008, said, “last year, everyone was working feverishly to try and crack the preroll. This year, it’s about using the second screen.” During Super Bowl 50, expect advertisements to be less about the spot and more about the entire experience, in this case, the integration of mobile and how it will leverage the ad spot. Each touch point will more than likely be rewarded as the ad itself.

  • Sans Sermonizing

    The tone for Super Bowl 50 is expected to be lighter. TBWA/Chiat/Day New York CEO Rob Schwartz believes that, “we are not going to have a stern lecture from Clint Eastwood at halftime.” Instead, he expects the most memorable spots to be more optimistic.


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