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YouTube gets Super Bowl 50 ads weeks before the main event

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Super Bowl ads are an event unto themselves. Brands now spend millions both on producing their game day ads and of course on their placement.

YouTube has realized the value of its service in regard to live events such as the Super Bowl, and is offering advertisers the ability to get their hallowed TV spots online early via its AdBlitz platform.

A YouTube channel and separate website, AdBlitz — which has been available for the past seven years — is already seeing brands upload sneak peeks and clips of their Super Bowl 50 ads, weeks before kickoff.

AdBlitz currently features clips from KFC and website builder, with more to come. The platform also allows users to vote for and share their favorite game day ads. And, according to Google, it’s been a massive success.

In 2015, people watched the equivalent of 1,600 years of Super Bowl ads on YouTube, with 40 percent of that viewing time taking place before game day. An additional 300,000 hours of ads were watched online during the game itself.

In order to further capitalize on those blockbuster figures, Google today announced that it is launching a real-time advertising tool. The new feature will work across all of Google’s platforms, allowing brands and marketers to run ads timed to big moments during live events. The feature, which is currently in beta mode, was reportedly utilized by a Marco Rubio Super PAC during a candidates’ debate night and will also be applied during this year’s Oscars.

Google is acutely aware that both YouTube and its other platforms act as mere second screens compared to the main event. The numbers, however, prove that may still be enough to attract advertisers. The Web giant claims that advertisers that publish spots online before the Super Bowl accumulate 2.2 times more views than ads scheduled for game day.

Meanwhile, the price for Super Bowl spots has  increased a massive 76 percent over the last decade, according to Kantar Media. CBS executives have reportedly revealed that their Super Bowl rate for this year is north of $5 million. All that for a fleeting clip during an already noisy broadcast. No wonder advertisers are seeking out new avenues for their investments.

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