Super Bowl Commercials to Break Key Barrier

Next year's Super Bowl will mark a watershed moment for advertising. Find out more.

Super Bowl Commercials to Break Key Barrier Photo (cc) by jimg944

Super Bowl 50 will be the first you can catch — commercials and all — entirely on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

That’s right: Every last national ad for the Feb. 7 broadcast also will be streamed online in as close to real-time as possible, Variety magazine reports.

While some ads have been streamed in recent years, 2016 will be the first time all ads are streamed. CBS, which will air Super Bowl 50, is ensuring this by selling broadcast and online ads as a package deal.

Tim Hanlon, founder and chief executive of media-industry consultant the Vertere Group in Chicago, tells Variety:

“[This represents] a significant industry admission that the manner by which viewers are watching TV — or better, ‘consuming video’ — has, effectively, migrated to a variety of screen environments beyond the confines of just the TV set. Given that splintering of viewing behavior, why wouldn’t advertisers demand that the presenting broadcaster ensure that their expensive and heavily promoted ads are seen across every viewing environment by which the game is being watched?”

For this year’s Super Bowl, NBC allowed advertisers to choose between broadcast and online ads, and 18 of more than 70 advertisers chose to put their commercials online, Variety reports.

For the next Super Bowl, CBS is also seeking to break the record for the price of a commercial.

This year, NBC charged an average of $4 million for a 30-second spot, the industry publication Advertising Age reported in February.

However, the article reported that Les Moonves, CBS chief executive, said during a quarterly earnings call that month that his sales team would bring in at least $5 million for a 30-second spot for the 2016 game.

Super Bowl 50 will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, home of the San Francisco 49ers.

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Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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