According to YouTube’s research, ads that ran online before the Super Bowl last year got 9 million views, in average. Those that waited? 1.3 million. The difference explains why there has been an onrush of 2013 Super Bowl videos on YouTube already. On Monday alone, Volkswagen, Audi, Century 21 and Axe dropped their Super Bowl spots on YouTube.
Last year, 34 of the ads were online before the game and 20 were withheld until broadcast.
During the first dotcom boom in the late 1990s into 2001, the industry focused on daily visitors to advertiser websites as the first success proxy in determining winners and losers.
By 2005 and 2006, because of blogs and social media, the industry introduced online buzz metrics as another indicator of online momentum. Marketers began embracing social media to drive audience participation and prolonged excitement.
In 2013, the adoption of social sharing and online video into Super Bowl advertising has prompted a key question: Are early pre-game YouTube releases of commercials good or bad? Does early online video buzz drive excitement or hinder an otherwise climatic buildup?
There are advertisers and agency professionals in both camps. Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble are expected to share part, but not all, of their Super Bowl ads. Mars is keeping its ad under wraps as are Best Buy, RIM, Taco Bell, and Procter & Gamble’s Tide.
Chris Lillich, associate marketing director for North America laundry at P&G, told the New York Times that running ads in advance is “certainly a valid strategy… [but] we think doing the ‘big reveal’ in the game is going to do the best for us.”
It all depends on your creative strategy. For instance, this years Coca-Cola and Audi campaigns rely on the public and social media to determine (or supposedly determine) the outcome of their commercial, or the ending of it. Both campaigns have interesting tactics, but do take a little bit of the fun away from watching the game in a huge group at a Super Bowl party.