The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons are not the only ones gearing up for Super Bowl LI, this NFL Championship game is also extremely important for marketers and brands. With over 100 million viewers each year, having your product in a Super Bowl commercial is a guaranteed (but expensive) way for brands to make themselves known. This year advertisers are thinking outside of the box to keep viewers engaged. As Bruce Lefkowitz, the executive VP of ad sales for Fox Networks Group said, “Companies are rethinking how they can ensure getting attention, and awareness from viewers.”

               Mars, the company behind Snickers and the famous “you’re not you when you’re hungry” slogan, is taking an attention-grabbing risk by filming their commercial live during the third quarter of the football game. Allison Miazga-Bedrick, the Snickers brand director said, “every year we challenge ourselves to find new ways to satisfy our fans hunger for entertainment by delivering something new and breakthrough, and there is no better way than being the first to have a Super Bowl live ad.” Recently, live ads have been gaining traction on many TV channels. For example, in December, during the NBC broadcast of the musical “Hairspray Live” brands like Oreo, Toyota, and Reddi-Wip all used live ads to attract customers. Marketers and Advertisers are using live ads because it is an effective way to draw more attention and capitalize on excitement from TV or Facebook, and anything that happens in real time. This makes the audience feel like they’re not being forced to watch commercials, but are actually part of a captive live experience. In an effort to gain additional awareness and excitement from viewers, Mars is hosting a 36-hour live stream on their website and Facebook page which will begin Thursday before the game. Although not many details have been revealed about the 36-hour live stream, the brand did say that the stream will tie into the commercials western theme and be a fully integrated 360 campaign to reinforce the brand's connection to hunger satisfaction.

               Brands like Mars are working hard to appeal to customers. They are staying on top of the trends by tapping into the growing interest in live streaming, and the Super Bowl is the best platform for them to get in front of the largest number of customers. Hopefully these live ads run smoothly during the game; and more importantly, hopefully the Falcons take down the Patriots, because as attractive as Tom Brady is, I really don’t want to see him take home his fifth Super Bowl title.   

- Kate Moelis