Market Overview

The Game before the Game: How Marketers Are Battling Before the Super Bowl


Visible Measures, the leader in content advertising technology, today announced trends and insights surrounding video ad campaigns leading up to Super Bowl 50. Leveraging the company's proprietary True Reach® metric and dataset across 600,000 web and mobile properties, the company saw a shift in ad release strategy, and observed what the company calls a "ripple effect," whereby users are viewing previous Super Bowl ads as a result of new Super Bowl ads being released. Visible Measures saw a 130 percent increase in average online viewership of the top ten Super Bowl 50 ads before game day compared to 2015, demonstrating the growing importance of an online presence for what has been thought of historically as a TV-dominated event.

Super Bowl 50 Pre-Game Branded Video Trends
As opportunities for online branded video campaigns increase, brands are now taking advantage of the scale and efficiency available online.

  • Pre-Release Content Online – Pre-releasing Super Bowl content online has been part of advertisers' strategies for a few years. However, 2016 saw a shift in when advertisers pre-released. In 2014 and 2015, approximately half of the Super Bowl campaigns had been released by the week leading up to game day, while in 2016 over 85 percent of campaigns have been released during the same timeframe.

2014 Campaigns
Launched Each Week
(Sunday -Saturday)


2015 Campaigns
Launched Each


2016 Campaigns
Launched Each Week
(as of 2.3.16)*

1 Week Before (Sunday (week
before) - Saturday(day before

      36       26       7
2 Weeks Before       12       9       20
3 Weeks Before       5       6       10
4 Weeks Before       4       4       5
5 Weeks Before       2       N/A       3
Pre - January       8       6       7

* Includes both rumored to air campaigns and any campaign with Super Bowl related content

  • Ripple Effect for Brands — Viewership of a brand's Super Bowl campaign will spike viewership for previous Super Bowl campaigns for that brand, also known as a "ripple effect." The average percent growth in viewership of the 2014 campaigns around the release of the 2015 Super Bowl campaigns was 501 percent or 7.4X increase in views. For example, both of Budweiser's 2014 campaigns showed a sharp increase in viewership after the release of the 2015 video Lost Dog. The 2014 campaign Puppy Love garnered over 2.1 million views in the week following the release of Lost Dog in 2015. Budweiser's other 2014 campaign A Hero's Welcome garnered over 230,000 views in the week following the release of Lost Dog in 2015.
  • Online-Only Super Bowl Campaigns – In 2014, Newcastle started the trend of online-only Super Bowl ads with their If We Made It campaign. In 2015 Volvo followed suit with their Greatest Interception campaign. In 2016 we are seeing a number of advertisers adapting this strategy, including Sam's Club Member's Mark, Adobe, Nationwide Insurance, and PETA.

"With advertisers releasing content earlier online this year and an increase in online-only Super Bowl advertisers, it's not just TV ads that matter anymore—brands need to have a strategy that takes advantage of the scale and efficiency an online presence can have," said Visible Measures CEO, Brian Shin.

In addition to highlighting online video trends surrounding Super Bowl 50, Visible Measures has compiled data on the top ten campaigns related to the big game. Two of the top ten advertisers are focused on online distribution in lieu of an in-game broadcast presence.

The top ten Pre-Game Super Bowl ads include:

1. Ritz Crackers – Big Game Snacks – 29,288,180 True Reach®
2. - #StartStunning – 28,476,601 True Reach®
3. Doritos – Crash the Super Bowl: Final Edition – 27,326,005 True Reach®
4. Hyundai – The Chase – 27,097,018 True Reach®
5. Amazon - #BaldwinBowl – 23,987,112 True Reach®
6. Sam's Club – Big Game Zen Babies – 23,035,445 True Reach®
7. TurboTax – It Doesn't Take A Genius To Do Your Taxes – 22,313,206 True Reach®
8. Axe – Find Your Magic – 20,351,406 True Reach®
9. T-Mobile – Super Bowl 2016 – 17,866,261 True Reach®
10. Heinz – Wiener Stampede – 13,937,414 True Reach®

About Visible Measures
Visible Measures, the leading content advertising technology provider, enables brands to better compete for consumer engagement by maximizing their Share of Attention relative to media spend in video content advertising. The company's platform is fueled by a massive proprietary dataset, as well as patented programmatic technology that combines five trillion data points to reach more than 500 million unique monthly users across 600,000 web and mobile properties. World-class advertisers and brands successfully rely on Visible Measures' video content advertising platform every day to drive unmatched consumer engagement worldwide. Visit us online at or follow us on Twitter @visiblemeasures.

True Reach and Visible Measures and the Visible Measures logo are registered marks owned by Visible Measures Corp. Other company and product names may be trademarks or servicemarks of their respective owners.

fama PR
Cait Mattingly, 617-986-5033

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