If you watched Hairspray Live on NBC this week, you may have noticed a number of live commercials sprinkled throughout the broadcast. As Fox is selling spots for Super Bowl LI in February, it’s looking at ways to bring advertisers into the fold. According to Variety, Fox is nearing 90% sold for the Big Game. And Fox is looking to sell some of the remaining ads for over $5 million.

One of the potential incentives to bring marketers into the Super Bowl is for Fox to use new forms  of commercials for the game as Brian Steinberg of Variety writes:

“The network intends to test new advertising formats, according to one of the people familiar with the sales process. This person said Fox could air live commercials during the game as well as ads that had “engagement opportunities,” or elements aimed to spur more intense audience attention. More information about these concepts is expected to be unveiled over the next few weeks, this person said. Fox is also working to highlight the debut of “24: Legacy,” a reboot of its popular “24” spy serial, to Madison Avenue. The network will launch the series after the Super Bowl broadcast, and already has Ford Motor and Samsung involved.”

With the Super Bowl being the most-watched program of the year, the commercials are seen by over 100 million people so bringing an non-traditional ad will definitely stick out. And whether it’s a live ad or even a two-minute ad, they will be noticed more than if they’re aired on another program.

Super Bowl 50 on CBS last February attracted an average audience of 111.9 million viewers while Super Bowl XLIX on NBC in 2015 saw a of 114.4 million. It’s these numbers that attract advertisers at the high pricetag set by the networks. And while some like Toyota have balked at the $5 million asking price, others like Kia, Snickers, and WeatherTech have signed on to have their ads seen by the mass audience.

So whether it’s a traditional 30-second commercial, a live ad or an extended spot, the Super Bowl brings eyeballs to the TV screen and Fox is hoping to give advertisers the most bang for their bucks with the Super Bowl and good game to boot.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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