Sunday, 10 February 2008

Superbowl 2008 TV ads find new life online as YouTube, MySpace and AOL run Superbowl ad channels

Last weekend saw Superbowl XLII (2008). In line with tradition TV ads were extremely expensive and over the top ad productions included Justin Timberlake, giant carrier pigeons, talking babies, dancing lizards and Republican / Democrat politicians being nice to each other. I was also particularly pleased to see Diet Pepsi Max use Haddaway 'What Is Love' as their soundtrack!

Since then a number of video websites have been running polls and discussions around the best Superbowl 2008 TV ads. AOL video, Myspace and YouTube have all joined in and there have been some very large viewing figures. AOL do not allow the ads to be seen outside of the US, but MySpace (at and YouTube ( are both running Superbowl channels that contain all the TV ads and allow user feedback. (News Corporations MySpace site being name checked in News Corporations Fox TV Superbowl coverage.)
(YouTube are due to declare the most popular Superbowl ad on Tuesday 12th February 2008)

Not only have these sites extended TV ad reach, but they also provide insight into how appreciated the ads were.

Most discussion sites seeem to rate the Budweiser horse ad highly;

Budweiser Superbowl Ad: Hank the Clydesdale

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Web services provider had the most successful cross-media strategy this year after Fox refused to carry their creative. Instead of amending their copy, made a new TV ad that announced that the 'banned' creative could be viewed at - “You won’t see it on TV, but it’s on at" : Super Bowl TV Commercial

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The banned GoDaddy ad 'Exposure':

GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons has written up the results on his blog ( received 1.5 million visits before the game was over and 2 million total visits for the day - this compared to 500,000 visits last year!

My personal favourite from the 2008 Superbowl ads was an ad for Sobe Life water that featured Naomi Campbell and dancing lizards. With significantly more YouTube activity than any other ad I could find (965,107 plays, 2488 ratings and 5,350 users favoriting), it would appear that other people like it too!

Thrillicious / Sobe Life Water Super Bowl Commercial: Naomi Campbell

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I think this is a great ad, but I was even more impressed once I had been to the supporting microsite at

Screengrab from

The site has slick production values and also has some entertaining video footage (below) to supplement the TV ad - a great example of using online to bring a TV ad to life / build greater engagement with the consumer.

This was the first year that I have been able to watch the ads from the Superbowl. The game is transmitted in the UK, but we do not see the associated advertising and marketing around it. The fact that I have been able to watch the ads, that the MySpace profile has 113,821 friends and the YouTube channel has 200,260 channel views, clearly demonstrates that advertisers have an huge opportunity to extend TV ads online. I was surprised how few Superbowl ads carried web addresses and think that there a number of brands missed an opportunity this year. At an alleged $2.7million for a 30 second Superbowl TV spot, then it wouldn't take much for people to follow the example of Thrillicious and I think 2009 will see more advertisers integrating their Superbowl TV ads with web properties.

Related Posts
PETA's banned Superbowl ad 2009 and other previews
Dorito's $1m User Generated ad competition for Superbowl XLIII

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