For the last couple of years, Super Bowl advertisers have been drastically changing their decades-old strategy of keeping mum about their commercials until the spots are broadcast during the game. Instead of trying to surprise viewers, many sponsors are filling social-media platforms with previews, teasers and coming attractions in hopes ofstimulating additional interest.
In another sign of that strategy’s growing popularity, Google is adding for the first time a gallery of teaser video clips to the annual YouTube Ad Blitz channel devoted to Super Bowl commercials. The gallery, scheduled to go live early Friday morning, begins with preview videos from five advertisers planning to run commercials during Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2:Butterfinger, Doritos, Intuit, Squarespace and Pepsi, teasing itssponsorship of the halftime show.
“What used to be a one-day event, with some postgame water-cooler chat, is now an eight- to 13-week experience,” said Lucas Watson, vice president for brand solutions at Google.
As a result, “major advertisers are trying to win the conversation” before the game, he said, as well as during and after.
Last year, ads for the Super Bowl were watched on YouTube more than 80 million times before the game was played, Mr. Watson said — nearly a third of the total of more than 265 million views for Super Bowl spots on the site that year. Commercials uploaded to YouTube before the game generated about 3.4 times more views on average, he added, than commercials that were released on the day of the game.
At least three other advertisers -- Axe, Jaguar and SodaStream – have joined the five appearing on the YouTube Ad Blitz channel in already releasing teasers for their 2014 Super Bowl commercials. There are discussions with the three advertisers to add their teasers to Ad Blitz, a Google spokeswoman said, and those may go live next week.
A survey released on Thursday by Unruly, a marketing technology company, confirmed the trend that is leading YouTube to offer one-stop viewing for Super Bowl ad teasers. According to Unruly, seven of the 20 ads from the 2013 Super Bowl that were most shared in social media were accompanied by teasers.
Also, the Unruly survey found, 60 percent of the most-shared Super Bowl spots of all time were introduced before they were broadcast during the games.
Although YouTube is adding the pregame teaser commercials to the Ad Blitz channel, YouTube will not ask viewers to vote for their favorites the same way it conducts a vote each year for favorites among the actual Super Bowl commercials.