In a recent blog post, YouTube revealed the top ads from Super Bowl 50, as chosen by the users of its Adblitz channel. After scoring millions of views in the days leading up to the Big Game, Pokemon’s 20th anniversary video emerged at the top of YouTube’s rankings. That result should come as no surprise; after all, Pokemon’s target demographic matches up with YouTube’s.
The more interesting result concerns the ad that finished fifth on YouTube’s ranking. Adblitz users voted Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “Dream” as one of their favorite Super Bowl ads, even though the 30-second spot didn’t air during the game itself. Instead, it was featured prominently within CBS’ digital stream of the game, and through that method, it gained as much attention as ads with in-game slots.
“Dream” continues KFC’s current campaign, in which comedian Norm Macdonald plays the fast food chain’s iconic mascot, Colonel Sanders. The new ad paints Macdonald’s portrayal as a bad dream, but when the Colonel wakes up, he’s still not himself–instead, he’s played by another comedian, Jim Gaffigan.
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While it did have a placement during CBS’ televised pregame show, “Dream” didn’t air during the game itself, but its second-half slot during CBS’ live stream broadcast introduced it to the millions of viewers who chose to watch the game online. Those digital-conscious consumers are also far more likely to be Adblitz users, and with that context in mind, KFC’s appearance among YouTube’s top ads makes sense.
The positive reception garnered by “Dream” further validates a theory that has become quite evident in recent years. For Super Bowl brands, participation in the broader advertising “event” is more important that the actual broadcast of an ad. Create something memorable, and viewers will take notice–even if they don’t turn on their TVs.