Monday, February 08, 2016

Pokemon Rules the Superbowl...Wait, What?

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Today, the Chinese celebrate their New Year, and some folks will celebrate it with them. I wrote about what you can do in Manila during CNY last week, so I won't write about it today. Instead, I will greet every one of you celebrating this with a happy Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Meanwhile, the ones who aren't celebrating the new year are celebrating / commiserating about the Superbowl. A year ago, a friend from the US asked me if this was a big thing in the Philippines. While I couldn't reply properly—I didn't really follow the Superbowl, or most sports, for that matter—I know that some of my friends keep track of the NFL, so I guess it does have some sort of a presence here.

But only recently did I learn about the lucrative business of advertising during the Superbowl. That thing's a joke, in the most twisted sense of the word. So many people watch the show (estimates last year were that there were around 110 million people watching the event). That's nearly 1/3 of the US population last year.

And ads are incredibly insane. I mean, they're no more special than your average TV ad, except that they're going to be in a bloody spot where a huge chunk of the population will be watching. And that's why the NFL gets to charge an insane amount per second of advertisement.

How insane? Well think something like $200,000 per second, at most, or $113,333 on average.

That's a lot of clams.

Analysts this year said that Superbowl advertising revenue for an average 30-second commercial could go beyond $5 million dollars. That's chump change for most of the companies that advertise during the show, and we now just how insane the competition can get. But this year, one of the ads in the running was an ad for Pokemon Go.

Yep, you read that right. One of the advertisements being showed at one of the most eminent ad spots in the history of advertising is an ad for a franchise about kids pitting their cute pocket monsters against each other.

And I've seen that video. There's no way it was just a thirty-second long video. It was at least a minute long. That's at least $10 million in one go. And the biggest question here is: Niantic Inc. can afford that much money over a game like that??

It just boggles the mind.

In any case, if you can't believe it, watch the ad below. It's a pretty cool ad by itself, but the added fact that it cost more than a small country's GDP to produce and to air is something else altogether.

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