The Big Game: The Super Bowl on YouTube

As millions of Americans know, Super Bowl XLIX is coming up on February 1. It wasn’t long ago that advertising during the “Big Game” was reserved exclusively for big brands with multi-million-dollar budgets. Huge automotive and alcohol companies dominated our TV screens with dazzling campaigns that changed the game from a spectacle of sport to appointment television for advertisers.

But blue-chip dominance of the Super Bowl’s airwaves has come to an end. With the prominence of YouTube and other video platforms, this advertising showcase has expanded beyond the confines of four quarters on the field and evolved into a month-long cultural event.

The Super Bowl time-shift

The Big Game is no longer a one-day affair. According to Google, YouTube audiences viewed last year’s Super Bowl ads 160 million times before the game even kicked off. That total represents half of all views of this advertising content.

After the game, 221 years’ worth of content was consumed through YouTube’s Ad Blitz, a platform that aggregates all the Super Bowl’s ads and lets viewers vote for their favorite commercials. With these figures, it’s no surprise that 75% of advertisers release their own Big Game content—even if they spend $8 million per minute on it.

Big Game, little screen

Like most things in video, the Super Bowl is becoming more mobile every year. Searches for the game were up 30% year over year overall; during week one of the NFL playoffs, a whopping 78% of game-related searches took place on mobile devices.

Top mobile searches tend to relate to specific games, with top terms including players, teams, schedules and scores—all of which are growing annually. A clear pattern of mobile consumption has developed for NFL fans: once the game kicks off, your phone becomes your second screen.

The Big Game gets bigger

Unless you live under a rock, it’s hard to escape the Super Bowl. News, predictions, and advertisements are ever-present in the weeks preceding the game, particularly on YouTube. In fact, since 2010, Super Bowl–related videos have increased more than 2,000%, eclipsing 500 million views in 2014.

One of the greatest advantages of this trend is that advertisers need not pay millions to take part in this rising tide; many brands can experience considerable brand lift simply by putting their ads online.


If your brand is still considering creating content for the Big Game, now is the time: only 25% of advertisers choose not to participate in arguably the biggest commercial day of the year.

Need guidance along the way? Contact us to learn what Fullscreen can do for your brand’s video presence—strategy, custom content, media, and more. Enjoy the game!