Super Bowl XLVI: The Commercials! [Update: record ratings]

Posted in Movies,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on February 4th, 2012

It’s a fact: there is a giant segment of people out there who watch the Super Bowl every year for one reason and one reason only: for the commercials. Companies like Anheuser Busch and E*Trade think up of ways to capture the wild imaginations of the public and deep way down their pockets to score spots between all the football action. This year a 30-second spot costs companies on average $3.5 million! In the end it’s all about attracting eyeballs and that’s what the Super Bowl spectacle does best. Last year a record-breaking 111 million viewers tuned into the game. And with a matchup like the Patriots versus the Giants this year’s viewership is bound to jump even higher.

With the world watching and so much money spent, this year’s commercials are expected to go above and beyond what we’ve ever seen before. Prior to the big game, companies have released teasers and even full-length ads that will be aired on Sunday. The two most popular ones so far have been Honda’s Ferris Bueller-inspired spot and Volkswagen’s Star Wars-themed “The Bark Side” starring a collection of dogs barking the Imperial March. Watch these now after the break.

Following the game on Sunday, check back here to revisit your favorite Super Bowl 46 commercials. They will all be embedded after the break!

Update: The game is over (the Giants beat the Patriots, YEAH!) and the most buzzed about commercials are posted after the break, along with the theatrical trailers that aired (Avengers, anyone?).

Update 2: What did I tell yah? A whopping 111.3 million people tuned into the Super Bowl yesterday, topping last year’s viewership (111 million) to become the most watched program in TV history. (Click here for more…)

Microsoft aims to bring “natural user interface ads” to Xbox

Posted in Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on June 23rd, 2011

Teenagers are social creatures; it is known. That’s why Microsoft is experimenting with Kinect to bring interactive and socially-inclined advertisements to Xbox 360. Such ads that take advantage of gestures and speech captured by Kinect are being called “natural user interface ads,” or NUads for short. Imagine you spy an ad for Coke that piques your interest. Say aloud “Xbox, tweet” and the console will automagically send out a short message and link to the ad to all your Twitter followers. New scenario: You see a spot for Adidas that’s advertising a promotional event and want to learn more about it. Simply say “Xbox, more” and instantly you’ll receive an email with more information about the sponsored event. Here’s another: You see an ad for NBC’s The Voice and you can’t miss tomorrow night’s new episode. Speak “Xbox, schedule” and the console will send a reminder to your Windows Phone and you’ll be alerted before the episode begins. Watch the video embedded above to see all these voice commands and gestures in action. Others include “Xbox, near me” and voting for your preferences by waving your hand.

Ads suck in general. But new innovation like this might just inject a spark of excitement into the viewing experience. Social interactivity is all the rage these days; add these elements to advertisements and perhaps the act of watching them will be less painful.

[Via MicrosoftAdvertising]

YouTube introduces Video Editor, skippable ads coming soon

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on July 2nd, 2010

On June 16 YouTube introduced an online video editor that allows YouTube members to complete simple edits on their uploaded videos.  The YouTube Video Editor allows you to “combine multiple videos you’ve uploaded to create a new longer video, trim the beginning and/or ending of your videos, add soundtracks from our AudioSwap library of tens of thousands of songs, and create new videos without worrying about file formats and publish them to YouTube with one click — no upload necessary.”  Google says the new editor is “ideal for merging single, short clips into a longer video” and “for trimming a long video down to the moments you really care about.”  Currently the video editor can be accessed at YouTube’s TestTube page; since it’s a new product, YouTube is asking its users to give it a try and provide appropriate feedback.  So give it a shot!  If you fall in the category of people who love to shoot and upload videos to YouTube but cannot afford/find the proper editing software, the free and easy to use YouTube Video Editor just might make all your dreams and wishes come true.

Here’s more YouTube news for you to chew on (and get rather excited about).  According to a Wall Street Journal report, Google senior product manager Baljeet Singh says that Google is readying a new YouTube feature dubbed “skippable” ads.  In the future, YouTube video windows will include a new button that when clicked will stop those annoying ads from running before videos.  Apparently Google has been “playing around with it for the last three quarters and seeing really great results.”  Singh believes that the notion of skippable ads will force advertisers to create more compelling advertisements so customers won’t want to skip them so often.  Adverisers will not be charged for skipped ads.  In addition, YouTube viewers will ability to choose from a series of ads to watch before particularly longer videos (you might have experienced this using Hulu).  Listen here, Google: If you give us the ability to skip ads, WE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO SKIP THE ADS.

[Via YouTubeBlog; GoogleSystem; WSJ]