Super Bowl ads whetted the appetites of viewers, who watched them again on smartphones

The instant replay changed TV sports when it was introduced during the broadcast of the Army-Navy football game in 1963.

This year, Super Bowl 50 could go down as the tipping point for a new phenomenon: viewers playing back the ads on their smartphones right after they watch them on TV.

According to Google/YouTube, 330,000 hours of Super Bowl ads were played online during the broadcast of the game Sunday, up 10% from last year. Sixty percent of that online viewing occurred on mobile devices.

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The percentage of mobile viewing is the highest ever for the game’s online ads, which increase the reach for advertisers spending more than $4 million for a 30-second spot on TV’s perennially highest-rated broadcast. (Sunday’s telecast on CBS was watched by an average of 111.9 million viewers, the third largest U.S. TV audience in history).


Google spokesman Andrew Swartz said the numbers indicate that people were seeing commercials during the game and then rewatching them on their smartphones or tablets.

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“Maybe they just missed the ad or just saw it and wanted to see it again,” he said. “It’s a big facet of how people are engaging with the ads these days. You get a lot of people viewing and sharing content.”

One reason there was so much online viewing of Super Bowl ads is that there was more to watch — a 25% increase in the amount of spots and related video content compared with last year.

“More brands are creating teasers for their ads early,” he said. “They realize the Super Bowl isn’t one moment anymore from an advertising perspective.”

The most watched Super Bowl ads on YouTube through early Monday morning were “The Chase,” the Hyundai ad that showed Elantra owners escaping two bears, followed by spots for Pokémon, Mini USA, Hyundai’s “First Date” ad with Kevin Hart and Mountain Dew Kickstart’s “Puppymonkeybaby.”

Many advertisers had viewers spreading the word about their spots. According to Facebook user data analyzed by the Atlanta social media marketing company Insightpool, Frito-Lay’s Doritos brand had the most interactions of any Super Bowl advertiser by a large margin in the hours after the game.

Insightpool found that in a 12-hour period starting Sunday 4 a.m. Eastern, there were 107,000 instances in which Facebook users posted, shared, commented or linked information or stories related to Doritos, which ran several spots in the game. Among men, 72% of the interactions were positive. For women, the figure was 69%.


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