Five days later, some things to consider about the Super Bowl

NFL:

  • Has reached a saturation point with their main audience, men, football fans. The men that are going to watch football already watch football.
  • The Super Bowl is an opportunity for the NFL to educate and recruit new fans, those that only watch one football game a year at parties with friends.
  • This year was about reaching women and gay men and trying to retain them into next football season.  
  • They used the internet and "second screen" offerings to achieve just that, educate the potential fan while enhancing the experience for the current fan.
  • The game was streamed online for the first time, with some technical challenges still needed to be worked out. 
  • In conjunction with NBC asked Madonna to perform the halftime show. 
  • The game itself was exciting, which is not always the case.
  • It was the most watched program in US television history. 
  • During the last three minutes of the game 10,000 tweets were sent every second. 


NBC: 

  • The beleaguered network has been lagging in the ratings with very few hits in their primetime line up.
  • With the NFL, asked Madonna to perform the halftime show.
  • Promoted the network's programming hoping to retain some of the massive audience. Targeted women and gay men, the most likely audiences for the shows they need to be hits.
  • Began Super Bowl programming with a 3 minute long promo for the network. The promo was an elaborate musical number.  
  • Heavily promoted Smash, an expensive to produce tv program about the making of a Broadway musical with a pedigree of top tv and stage talent, including Steven Spielberg, producing it.
  • Smash premiered the following night to very strong ratings.
  • The new season of The Voice, a singing competition featuring halftime show performer Cee Lo Green as a judge, premiered immediately after the game to the biggest non-sporting event ratings on any network in six years. 


Halftime Show:

  • The NFL selects the performer with input from the network airing the game. 
  • The Madonna halftime show was produced by the NFL, sponsored by Bridgestone, and employed the best of the best in the world of stage production with crews from Tribe, Inc., Cirque Du Soleil, Moment Factory, as well as Madonna's own inner circle of collaborators, including Givenchy who designed the costumes.
  • Creating the show required 320 hours of rehearsal.
  • The production crew had 8 minutes to get the most technically intricate stage set up in halftime show history into the field, 12 minutes and 40 seconds to run the highly choreographed performance, and only 7 minutes to take it all down.
  • The performers do not get paid for the performance, the NFL covers productions costs.
  • By featuring LMFAO (pop/dance), Nicky Minaj & MIA (hip hop) and Cee Lo Green (R&B) during the performance Madonna ensured she covered all the genres of music that get the most radio play and exposure. 
  • The performance ended with a rousing rendition of "Like A Prayer." When originally released Madonna and the song were featured in a Pepsi commercial that was subsequently pulled from the air due to the controversial imagery in the song's video. 
  • The game's average rating was 40.5. The halftime show rating was 41.5. More people watched the halftime show than the game itself. 
  • The football-themed video for Madonna's new single, which she performed during the show, premiered on the web the Friday before the game. As of now it has 11M views on YouTube. 
  • Madonna's new album is titled MDNA, a reference to the emotion heightening drug MDMA (Ecstasy) and also an abbreviation perfect for social media updates and hashtags. 
  • The album went on pre-sale exclusively on iTunes the Friday before the game. 
  • By the time the halftime show began the album was #1 in 50 countries. The biggest one day pre-order in iTunes history.  
  • Two days after the show Madonna announced a world tour, with tickets going on sale around the world starting next Monday. 
  • Two nights after the show songs by Madonna and LMFAO were featured on Glee
  • For a lesson in collaboration and team work watch the halftime show again, muted, and ignore Madonna and the primary talent. Instead watch how the dancers and the many extras, all do a hell of a lot more than what it looks like they are doing. Watch as microphones get passed from dancer to dancer, costumes changed and taken of stage. How the crew, dressed completely in white with camera equipment wrapped in white so projections will reflect of them, dart in and out setting things up and removing them all seamlessly. Madonna was the performer, but the crew put on the show.
  • 12 minutes and 40 seconds of air time during the Super Bowl cost advertisers approximately $85 million. 


Advertisers:

  • The Super Bowl is the one time when people purposely watch commercial spots.
  • Most ads were pre-released leading to few surprises during the actual game. 
  • Most ads were produced using pop culture references as short cuts to relevance. They used borrowed interests, rather than create their own. 
  • An M&M commercial, introducing a new brown M&M, featured an LMFAO song.
  • It used to be a Super Bowl ad came out of nowhere, surprised, and created a cultural moment with the ability to make icons out of a brand almost instantly. 
  • Super Bowl advertising is no longer about the ads during the game, it's about social media. 
  • Coca-Cola and Acura's websites crashed during the game. 
  • David Beckham's ad for H&M, close ups of Beckham in his underwear, was mostly ignored by the primary NFL audience, but of all the ads in the game it was number 1 in social media mentions.
  • The only ad that was a surprise, since no one saw it prior to the game, was the expertly executed "Halftime in America" for Chrysler.
  • It followed the strategy of last year's "Imported from Detroit" featuring Eminem.
  • In the days after the game various groups have referred to it as an homage/ripoff of "morning in America" as well as showing support for Obama's campaign. 
  • Apple's "1984" is considered by many one of the best Super Bowl commercials ever, and even though Apple did not advertise during the game it didn't really have to. Once the game ended, with the Giants winning, all you could see was a sea of people, players, managers, crews, holding up their iPhones taking video and pictures of the moment.


Audience:

  • Many, many people watched an exciting game. 
  • Fans of football where thrilled by the game, mildly amused by the advertising and did not really care for the halftime show.
  • Non fans of football got to see an example of what makes football so exciting, were mildly amused by the advertising and really enjoyed the halftime show. 
  • With the exception of the Patriots and most advertisers, it seems every one was a winner. 

Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit SmarterCreativity.com.

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