Until last night, many of the recent Super Bowl games have been close. This makes advertisers VERY happy. Why? Because the viewership of the game stays high and ads in the latter part of the 4th quarter still reach well over 100 million viewers.

But what happens when the Super Bowl is a blowout — and the score is 36 to nothing with about 3 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter? This is where being a smart advertiser pays off, and “leaking” Super Bowl ads prior to game day pay off.

So, here’s a short quiz: Were you still watching Super Bowl XLVIII at the two minute warning of last’s night game? If yes, what was the lead ad during the commercial break? [No cheating by looking below. 🙂]. HINT: It was the ad with the most views on YouTube before the game began — with more than twice as many views as any other Super Bowl ad. As of game time, it had 36 million views! The next two commercials combined had 30 million views.

Keep in mind, the advertiser carefully planned to run the commercial during the break for the two-minute warning. It was anticipating a tight game and a huge audience. It chose this time spot!!

By releasing the ad on the Wednesday before the Sunday game, the advertiser not only created a lot of buzz; the ad instantly went viral. And in today’s critique of Super Bowl ads, it has consistently ranked among the three best.

Here’s the ad — Budweiser’s “Puppy Love”:


13 Replies to “Advertising at the End of the Super Bowl? Have an Ad That’s Viral!”

  1. I hate commercials, but for me that is the whole reason to watch the game. This year I was very unhappy with the commercials, but the Budweiser commercial was so good! Normally, the Doritos commercials always give me a nice laugh but not this year. This commercial made my entire suite of people say “awww” at the same time. What a great way to tug at the heart strings of all the viewers, Budweiser!

  2. During the Super Bowl, I typically pay more attention to the game than commercials. This commercial however, held my attention the entire minute. The advertisers were smart for running the commercial at this time, and it seemed to appeal to all viewers. Additionally, the majority of people will continue watching the game regardless of how close the score is.

  3. I was still watching while this add played but the game was definitely more background noise at this point due to the huge score difference. This was one of mine and my friends favorite commercials, how could you not love a puppy-horse friendship? Budweiser’s use of hashtags at the end of their commercials was also just as smart as their “leaking” of the ad. More than one person in my twitter feed used the “#bestbuds” displayed at the end of this ad underneath the Budweiser logo, which of course prompts people who did not see the ad originally to investigate what the hashtag means (aka more advertising for Budweiser).

  4. I don’t watch football, so when I watch the Super Bowl, it is primarily for the commercials. This year I felt that the commercials could have been much better. Some of them had nothing to do with what was being advertised, and the commercials didn’t capture my attention or humor me…except for a few. I liked pretty much all of the Bud Light commercials, and the puppy love one was probably my favorite. It was absolutely adorable and almost brought tears to my eyes! The timing of this commercial definitely gave it an advantage, but even if it wasn’t aired during that time, I think it still would have been a very popular commercial.

  5. I always wonder how these companies dealt with the Super Bowl and their ads in the 80s and early 90s. There was no You Tube and thanks to the NFC and the Raiders in 1984, those games were over in the third quarter. Thanks to technology, companies have fallback options.

  6. I honestly watch the superbowl more for the commercials, especially when the team I root for is not playing. This year the commercials did not catch my attention as much. They were not as funny as they usually are such as the doritos one is always good. However, the Budweiser commercial did catch my eye and was probably the best one this year. They put the commercial on in the right spot and right time. It was one of the best commercials and everyone on my instagram and facebook kept posting videos of it and hashtagging it. It was a cute commercial all around.

  7. I think there are many reasons why this commercial rated so high that has more to do with just timing. Although it was smart to release the commercial before hand, no doubt there, I don’t think thats the only credit deserved. I’m not a SuperBowl person, and this year I did not watch it (I don’t have a TV with cable in my room here at school). This ad includes so many aspects that make it successful. The song in the video is recognizable and well known, it has a good ‘homey’ country vibe due to the ranch style landscape and it includes not only good-looking people, but a cute little puppy that any heart would melt for. But something that separates this video from all the other beer commercials that include so many aspects irrelevant to the product, is the horses. Clydesdale horses have been recognized as the Budweiser horse for many years, and I think it is the inclusion of the horses with the “puppy love” that really helps set this commercial apart. Although in many cases most people will not immediately point to the horses as a huge selling factor, I think it is a very key element that make this commercial not irrelevant or forgettable to the product.
    All in all, well done Budweiser. I would watch your commercial again before channel flipping

  8. I can honestly say that this past Super Bowl was one of the most boring games I have seen. I was really disappointed and it is true that the audience loses interest when the game isn’t as exciting. By the end of the game I don’t remember any commercials standing out except the ones that were previously leaked! So very smart to leak them or at least a trailer to get the public interested.

  9. A battlefield of brute force, wit and talent sounds about right in a Super Bowl game. It is a game not just for the sport buffs but also a tug of war between brands. Second year into watching the Super Bowl, I am still intrigued by the number of commercials Fox manages to squeeze between every few minutes of the game. What better opportunity to promote one’s brand than in front of 111.5 million viewers? Overwhelmed by the mere number of commercials, companies have to find a way to stand out, and “leaking” the ads is definitely one way to do it. As a fan of Ellen DeGeneres, I saw a partial ad in her show and was hyped up to “find” the ad during the Super Bowl. Truth be told, I missed the last quarter of the game. However, a friend sent the Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” video to me, claiming that it was too good to miss. Aside from finding innovative ways to capture audience’s attention, I believe that a good quality ad that tugs on people’s heartstrings or make people ROFL will still stand out, no matter the time it was aired.

  10. The only reason I watch the Super Bowl is to be entertained by the commercials. This year not only was the game boring, but the commercials were too! The Budweiser commercial above was the only commercial that really caught my attention. Although this ad has really nothing to do with the product itself (beer), Budweiser was extremely smart at capturing the audiences emotional appeal. While watching the game, almost every person in the room said “aw” when this commercial came on and continued to speak about it after it aired. Budweiser was focused on the name itself and not the product because now when people go out to buy beer, they will recognize the name Budweiser and remember the cute commercial!

  11. I know I was leaving the Superbowl party I was at by the end of the 3rd Quarter, because it just did not seem worth it to stay and watch what I already knew was going to happen. Besides the game, none of the commercials were really “wowing” me. Some made me smirk, but there was nothing I truly wanted to talk about later on with my friends. I did see the BestBuds commercial before the Superbowl, because it was being shared on Facebook, and thank God I did, because it was the only one worth seeing! Unfortunately this commercial had a bad time slot in the game, and many people may have missed it, but I think it was so smart to release the commercial early. I think from Facebook alone, this is one of the most talked about commercials. Budweiser was creative with how the went about the commercial, and nobody is going to forget this commercial anytime soon!

  12. As skeptical as I was about “leaking” and “pre-super bowl commercial,” I believe it was the best idea. Even though I watched the game, throughout the blowout I believe the commercials might have kept viewers watching. Viewers want to know what would happen at the end of the commercials. This strategy of leaking was definitely a defense to keep strategy for keeping viewers watching the horrible blowout of a game.

  13. For some people (Bronco fans) the Super Bowl XLVIII commercials might have been more enjoyable to watch than the actual game. Almost two months later, this “Puppy Love” commercial is still being aired on TV and has broke records on the number of views on Youtube. It makes me wonder how much time and effort was put into this and also shows the importance of advertisement.

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