Movie Ads Down In Super Bowl, But TV Streamers Rise

Feb 6 late addition: Link from Nielsen on Super Bowl ratings throughout history and separately Kantar Media estimating a small advertising revenue drop in 2019
Feb 5 late addition with revisions-Lionsgate's Scary Stories
By Robert Marich
  Feb. 4, 2019-TV’s premiere advertising event, the Super Bowl received just four-and-a-half theatrical motion picture commercials—at the low end of the 4-8 spots range by historical standards. In last year's telecast of pro football's championship game, movie studios bought eight commercials for films.
   However, this year Hollywood was also conspicuous with acting and music celebrities fronting a host of commercials for consumer goods outfits, and also TV streaming services buying pricey commercials.
   CBS Television’s telecast yesterday contained 58 commercials in-game (most in 30-seconds units but some longer), per USA Today's Ad Meter, at a price of just over $5 million per 30-second, escalating as mushrooming tech firms like cell phones and streaming services buy spots to boost awareness. In comparison, similar commercials in prime-time TV series are at the low hundreds of thousands of dollars level each.
      Disney’s commercials were for The Avengers: Endgame (theatrical premiere April 26), Toy Story 4 (June 21), and Captain Marvel (March 8). Also, Comcast-owned Universal Studios placed an ad for Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw (August 2). Finally, Lionsgate's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Aug. 9) got a 10-second commerical--which is the "half" in my count of four-and-a-half since it's not a standard 30-second spot.
   But there is some confusion. The Toy Story 4 ad is reported in the press prior to the Super Bowl and I saw myself in game, but it wasn’t in the USA Today’s Ad Meter list for some reason. I didn't see the short Scary Stories commerical when watching the game and it too isn't on Ad Meter. But this placement was confirmed by CBS Films, which made the movie that Lionsgate is distributing. Some researchers consider Scary Stories an in-house promotion given it's from CBS Films, which is a corporate sibiling of the game's broadcaster CBS Television, and so don't count it with the other film commercials from outsiders.
   In programming just before and after the game, I also saw two commercials for 20th Century Fox’s Alita: Battle Angel (Feb 14), but that’s out-of-game in a cheaper slot. Before the game, Paramount's animated Wonder Park (March 15) also had a commercial
   Some years, movie studio corporate siblings of the Super Bowl TV networks pile in at the last moment to buy advertising—probably to fill lagging demand. But this year’s broadcaster CBS does not have a movie studio affiliate—only premium pay cable TV service Showtime (which is also streaming these days too)--though its movie division is behind Scary Stories, though that film is distributed by a third party-Lionsgate.
   As for streamers, HBO (a premium pay channel now streaming) teamed with Bud Light in a commercial promoting HBO’s Game of Thrones TV series. In addition, Netflix promoted its TV series documentary Our Planet, Amazon Prime Video for series Hanna, Hulu for its Handmaid’s Tale TV series (Hulu is owned by affiliates of Hollywood major studios).
   As for Hollywood talent in commercials, Harrison Ford appeared for Amazon’s Alexa personal digital assistant device; TV star Jason Bateman presented for Hyundai cars; Backstreet Boys and Chance the Rapper joined forces for Doritos chips; and Jeff Bridges and Sarah Jessica Parker for Stella Artois beer—among a long list of celebrity presenters (including from sports).
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