Trends & Insights

3 Ways Smart Publishers are Capitalizing on Super Bowl 50

By Jessica Gersten | Feb 5, 2016


The Super Bowl attracts major media attention, claiming an audience of over 100 million viewers each year. Although the event is centered around touchdowns and tackles, viewers have also learned to watch for the multimillion-dollar ad campaigns that range from wonderfully entertaining, to gasp-worthy shocking. And where there are ad investments that size, there are publishers (naturally) looking to become involved.


This year smart publishers are exploring new ways to get in the game, using new technologies and platforms to position themselves in front of the Super Bowl audience. Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” impromptu Twitter ad from 2013 was a first of its kind, but this year advertisers and publishers have a much broader range of technology to work with. So how are publishers making the most of Super Bowl budgets?

1. Using branded videos to win over true fans.

USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties understands what a true fan wants. Digital video is a necessity to reach audiences more than ever this year, and they’ve taken it one step further by creating custom, branded videos for two very relevant sites: Panther’s Wire and Bronco’s Wire. Publishing video content centered around the two competing teams will help increase audience engagement and size, providing more opportunities for monetization. And how to ensure ROI for such a time-sensitive strategy? Text-to-video creation is making it possible. Each site is using this new technology to automatically create videos from their existing text articles, enabling them to quickly scale video production without increasing production costs. Check out this example…

2. Tuning in for the big game on…Snapchat?

The NFL is jumping on the Snapchat bandwagon and using it as another medium to broadcast the game. The average Snapchat user isn’t quite the type to pay for cable, so it’s a wise move by the NFL to capitalize on this audience as well. By taking over a ‘Live Story’, the NFL has raked in seven figure deals with brands such as Marriott, Budweiser, Pepsi and Amazon. Even after splitting the revenue with Snapchat, the NFL has created a solid new revenue stream for Super Bowl 50.

3. Watch every play live, on your desktop or phone.
CBS is breaking down barriers by including live-streaming in its Super Bowl broadcast TV advertising packages for the first time. Digital ad placements have been offered in the past, but not together with broadcast placements. CBS has also decided to make the game much more accessible for viewers, live-streaming it on their site plus a suite of other platforms. Verizon customers can even stream the game live on their phone. Live-streaming is expected to expand CBS’s audience for the game, and the million price tag for a 30-second ad spot confirms that it expects advertisers to pay handsomely for it.
The Super Bowl has long been one of America’s most celebrated pastimes, and maintains a spirit of tradition. But the way consumers are watching has changed, and as publishers and advertisers respond to this we can expect to see more innovative Super Bowl campaigns and strategies in the years to come.
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Jessica Gersten