Battle of the brands
As the battle for football supremacy was taking place on the field, a very different battle was raging across the country: Which ad would reign supreme? Whether via smartphone, tablet or laptop, people spent nearly 4 million hours watching game-day ads and teaser videos on YouTube—up from 2.2 million hours from this time last year.
This year’s most popular ads came from a wide range of advertisers—newcomers and veterans alike. But one thing’s for certain—puppies, pranks, and Kim Kardashian continue to “break the Internet.” Here are the ads that scored big on YouTube so far:
YouTube has evolved to become the place brands go to engage with their audience before, during, and after the big game. That’s why revenue from our AdBlitz program set a new record this year, with brands investing more on YouTube around the big game than years past. And, we’ve hit a new record in watchtime across YouTube—the growth rate at which people are watching YouTube has nearly doubled in the last year, leading to the fastest growth we've seen in years.
Tom Brady and Missy Elliott dominate on search
While people turned to YouTube to watch the ads, people turned to Google to search for everything from “how old is Tom Brady” to “buffalo chicken dip recipes” to “Katy Perry Halftime performance.” Before kickoff, people asked Google “Why did John Travolta call Idina ‘Adele’?”—a throwback to John Travolta’s infamous mispronunciation of National Anthem performer Idina Menzel's name at the 2014 Oscars. Searchers were also interested in Menzel’s performance (or researching prop bets), asking “How long will it take Idina to sing the National Anthem?”
Tom Brady, Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson were the top three searched players before, during and after the game. Thanks to some standout in-game performances, by the end they were sharing the spotlight: Rob Gronkowski and Chris Matthews (replacing Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor). And MVP Tom Brady wasn’t just an MVP on the field—he captured the title of “Most Searched Quarterback” in every state except for the Seahawks’ home Washington.
Of course, for many people the halftime show is the highlight of the night, and Katy Perry’s performance delivered. She came in on a lion, danced with sharks and went out on a star—one that was, for some, reminiscent of NBC’s old “The More You Know” PSAs. The phrase "The More You Know" spiked 190x in search for the 10 minutes after Katy’s starry flight. And although Missy Elliott was a late addition to the halftime lineup, she was a popular topic in search. Top questions related to Missy Elliott included “When was Missy Elliott popular?” and “How does Katy Perry know Missy Elliott?”
A very YouTube halftime show
For the first time ever, this year YouTube hosted a Halftime Show produced by Collective Digital Studio, with the help of more than 25 YouTube creators including Epic Meal Time's Harley Morenstein as host, Rhett & Link, Toby Turner, Freddie Wong and Tyler Ward. From Kurt Hugo Schneider’s "Epic Patty Cake Song" to the “Elephant’s Toothpaste” science experiment with Science Bob, the show delivered a one-of-a-kind experience for YouTube fans.
With the last touchdown scored, we’re taking votes for your favorite ad, so visit our AdBlitz channel to cast your ballot before voting ends on February 9 at 11:59pm ET. Thanks for making this year our biggest game ever.
Whether you’re a loyal 12th man or a Boston fan for life, chances are you turned to YouTube and Google to watch your favorite ads, answer your questions or witness a new generation of halftime entertainment. We’re happy we could be a part of your game.