There were 49 new, nationally televised commercials that aired last night during Super Bowl XLIX. While most of them were for older, established brands, a handful of them were for Internet-first companies, and many of the rest featured technology in important ways.
But the most interesting thing? There were three advertisements for mobile games during one of the biggest “bricks and mortar” game broadcasts in the world. In other words, last night approximately $16 million was spent last night to tell you about games you can play on your phone.
The Super Bowl is a collision of commerce, entertainment, rage, and Katy Perry. So it makes sense that the advertisements featured during the game, the most expensive advertisements in the world, are representative of the business landscape in America. Companies who can place ads in the Super Bowl are entertaining, competitive, and successful.
Game of War showed a 30-second ad during the first quarter of the game that featured Kate Upton and general Game-of-Thrones-style warfare. So far so good.
In the third quarter, we were blasted with a sixty-second commercial for a mobile game, this time featuring Liam Neeson. The Taken star parodied Taken by vowing vengeance against his enemies in Clash Of Clans while in line for coffee.
Finally, in the fourth quarter, we got one final taste of what animated characters can do when given virtual weapons and rolling landscapes in the Heroes Charge Super Bowl commercial. It was a short fifteen-second spot.
Meanwhile, Mophie threw its hat in the ring with an ad based on this simple premise: “What would the world look like if God’s phone died?” Squarespace, which took out its first Super Bowl Ad last year, again showed its stuff during the big game with a much more subtle (and inexpensive) ad.
With a $4.5 million price tag on a thirty-second spot, many marketers are wondering whether or not the bang is worth the buck. But this year’s Super Bowl was viewed by more than 100 million people, and many ads will be talked about into today, this week, and even into the year.
For companies that produce games like Game of War and Clash of Clans, the Super Bowl is an expensive, though relatively safe, bet. Last night, more than 100 million people watched Liam Neeson play Clash of Clans and Kate Upton pretend to be a character in Game of War. Many of those viewers had their smartphone within reach.
Next year I predict that Bitcoin will be mentioned during the Super Bowl, Snapchat will place an ad featuring a celebrity, and Tom Brady won’t be there at all. It will be glorious.