Blink and you would have missed it

Of course most people watch the Superbowl for the game. But then there are the others who watch it for the commercials. If you blinked, little lone made a dash for the loo, you would have missed what was the shortest Superbowl commercial – ever. Ivors Seafood Restaurant purchased a half second spot during the big game. No confirmed costs, but 30 second national spots were running $2.4 – 3 million. Ivor’s ran as part of a regional buy on NBC, so Canadian readers can check it out here:
View Ivor’s spot:

Seems there was a run for the shortest spots this year with Miller High Life running a one second commercial. Taping of the one second ad was pulled from a 17 hour shoot, with the final “One second line” being selected after it was all over.
View the commercial here:
View the outtakes here:

Arguably Superbowl commercials have an extended life these days through online replays, unlike years ago when a 30 second spot really was a fleeting 30 seconds, never to be seen again unless it was so memorable it was picked up in the news. Think Apple in 1984.

So why bother with a half second or one second spot? Well, it’s all about the media coverage, viral online sharing of content and customer engagement. These ads were aired on TV, but make no mistake, the plan was to generate online interest and good old fashioned free publicity. So far they’ve made the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, USA Today, Advertising Age, just about every major city daily in the states, radio, tv, online blogs, Twitter, and Youtube.

MS&L Worldwide and Publicis Groupe, New York recently conducted research on how online and old media go hand in hand. They found that 80% of people surveyed go online to learn more about a topic after first seeing something about it on TV, in a newspaper, magazine or hearing about it on the radio. The lesson? Web efforts can’t reach their full potential in a vacuum.

These short Superbowl spots were a great use of combined traditional and digital media. Does anybody remember the commercials that paid the full $3 million for 30 seconds? Brilliant.

Mary Charleson

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