The American tradition of gathering around a television to watch the latest Super Bowl commercials is starting to show its age. Yesterday, rapper Future took to his personal Twitter account to debut Apple’s Beats by Dre commercial for Super Bowl 50 featuring NFL MVP and Super Bowl quarterback Cam Newton.
Future, whom narrates the commercial, described the tweet as the “exclusive twitter launch,” with the commercial later appearing on Beats By Dre’s official YouTube page. The commercial featured the Carolina Panthers quarterback demonstrating the sweat resistance of Beats by Dre’s Powerbeats Wireless 2 by donning a pair during an intense workout. Last year, Beats by Dre debuted the company’s Super Bowl XLIX commercial featuring Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman online (rather than on television) days before the big game as well.
The Super Bowl has always held a special place in Apple’s storied history. For Super Bowl XVIII in 1984, Steve Jobs and the crew unveiled a Ridley Scott-directed commercial about an apocalyptic assembly line full of zombified people, but there was no Apple product in site. During the 1983 keynote message where he debuted the commercial before game, Jobs said that the ad was more about stopping an IBM monopoly than selling a product. “IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control: Apple.”
Twitter is far from usurping television as king of Super Bowl advertisement, but more money is going into the tweets along with more people. The last two Super Bowls have attracted over 24 million tweets with last year’s Super Bowl XLIX, attracting 28.9 million tweets. For perspective, President Obama’s final State of the Union address from January attracted roughly 2.6 million tweets. With Super Bowl TV viewership increasing every year since 2013, it’s safe to say the tweeps will be watching.