Sunday’s big game is not all about football. It’s about the commercials, too, and a Pennsylvania ad agency is tracking votes to figure out the favorite.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into it. It’s our favorite time of the year, but our Januarys are pretty busy. We’re gathering intel on all the spots, putting it up on the website and then gathering the spots as well, putting them up there for pregame voting,” Pavone spokesman David Shoffner said.
Harrisburg-based Pavone created Spot Bowl 15 years ago so people from all 50 states could vote online.
“This is one of the only television events of the year where people are taking their bathroom breaks during the game instead of the commercials,” Shoffner said.
Shoffner is expecting between 50 and 60 ads during the game. Fifteen have been pre-released so far.
“I think a lot of advertisers realize this isn’t just a battle waged on TV. They’re competing for attention on social media, and what Pavone has done is we’ve created a program that actually tracks social media conversations around the ads,” Shoffner said.
“This year, the ads are going for $5.2 million and that’s just for 30 seconds, so that is a record, but a lot of the ads we’re going to see in the game are going to be 60 seconds long, some of them as long as 90 seconds,” he said.
It’s expected that about 110-million Americans will watch the game, an investment Shoffner says is well worth it, especially for Anheuser-Busch, winner of six of the last 15 Spot Bowl titles.
“We always keep an eye on what Anheuser-Busch is doing. They’re the biggest advertiser in the game,” Shoffner said. “This year, they’ve bought five-and-a-half minutes of airtime, which is the most they’ve ever bought.”
A simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” decides the winner of Spot Bowl.
“You can vote as often as you like. In fact, we encourage people to vote early, vote often, and vote for all the spots that you like and more than once,” Shoffner said.