Mashable’s focus on technology gave it a heavy slant toward advertising during Super Bowl 51, but that did not stop certain parts of the game from getting highlighted by the site’s writers.
Apps For Enhanced Viewing
This story from a few days before the big game spotlights apps that would enhance the viewing experience. Fox Sports Go allowed cable subscribers to stream the game for free on a mobile phone, Flipp allows shoppers to find coupons for all the things they need to buy for the party, Football Squares Plus takes the “Squares” game and puts it online (no need to handle paper this year), and PairWise reccomends what beer might go best with your food.
Cannot Escape the Politics
With Vice President Mike Pence in attendance and former President and First Lady George and Barbara Bush (longtime Houston residents) doing the coin toss, the big game had its share of political celebrities.
Then came the advertisments. Coca-Cola ran an old ad right before kickoff that used a multi-lingual version of “America the Beautiful,” generating extreme reactions. Budweiser, famous for well-done ads this time of year, used the story of co-founder Aldophus Busch’s immigration to the U.S. The commercial was designed in October, 2016, well before the latest drama in the immigration debate.
AirBNB’s “We Accept” ad DID have an intentionally pro-immigration stance, but it was a re-edited version of an ad used in the wake of discrimination allegations.
Not My Game
Some companies like Frito-Lay and Heinz otped to skip advertising during the game entirely. With prices for 30 seconds being estimated at over $5 billion, companies are looking for more cost-effective ways to get their message out.
This left spots for rookies in sports advertising to jump in. Newcomers included Tiffany & Co., Yellow Tail wines, and 84 Lumber.
The ads they Could Not Show
Speaking of 84 Lumber, their initial ad was deemed too controversial for television, so they simply directed viewers to go online and watch the original ending, including a depiction of a border wall.
The large amount of traffic crashed their website momentarily.
For the last few years, porn websites have been using their web traffic — or lackthereof — to promote their content, without showing anything. PornHub’s traffic report showed a massive drop in site traffic from Massachusetts and Georgia during the game, with a slight uptick during halftime.
Traffic in Massachusetts reached its lowest level in the fourth quarter, as the Patriots scored 19 points to tie the game at 28. Following the game’s conclusion, Massachusetts traffic spiked to 30 percent above normal Sunday level while Georgia leveled off at 18 percent above normal.
Also of note, searches for football-related terms — Super Bowl (2,451%), halftime (2,434%), football (394%), and cheerleader (52%) — all saw huge jumps.
The Game Itself
What seemed like a runaway victory for the Atlanta Falcons turned out to be the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, featuring the first ever overtime in the game’s 51 years.
A Julio Jones catch resembling Micahel Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” was only topped by Julian Edelman’s catch mere centimeters from the ground. The 19-point comeback was history in the making for millions of viewers, not including President Trump.
As fans rained boos on Commissioner Roger Goodell during the trophy ceremony (a pretty common sight in American professional sports), a local ad for Shields MRI featured Tom Brady — who totally knew the Patriots would win.
From the drama around Brady’s “stolen” jersey to Martellus Bennett’s daughter telling the world about her dog Wendy, the Patriots celebrated their fifth Super Bowl title. One Falcons fan took it upon himself to capture the moment, by burying the jersey he wore during the game.
Rain could not stop Patriots fans from packing the streets from Copley Square all the way to City Hall in downtown Boston. This Rolling Rally with the Duck Boats became the 15th parade in the city since 2001. If you needed confirmation, just see this 15-year-old’s sign from the parade.
Mashable did not cover “the Super Bowl,” but rather featured events and moments surrounding the game. Of the stories in this Newstrack, just two were about plays that happened on the field. Even those posts were more about the buzz they created on social media and not their significance to the game.