Experiences Vs. Ads at Super Bowl LIII

Marred by controversy that sparked boycotts from activists, celebrities, and Saints fans alike, the CBS telecast of Super Bowl LIII drew the lowest TV viewership in a decade. Even with digital platforms taken into account, average viewership amounted to 100.7 million, the lowest since 2009—a sobering blow for brands that paid a reported $5.25 million for a 30-second ad, but less so for brands that went the experience route like those below.

Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical

Instead of running an ad, Skittles created an offbeat ‘commercial’ performed as a live Broadway musical. Deemed brilliant and frustrating, the show starred Michael C. Hall and featured original songs that centered around themes like consumerism and the effects of advertising in people’s everyday lives.

 

House of BET

BET took over Atlanta’s North Event Center with a three-day experience that offered a variety of performances and programming, an installation inspired by AMERICAN SOUL—a new series that tells the story of Don Cornelius’ Soul Train—a 1970s-themed dance floor, and a museum dedicated to memes.

 

DirecTV Super Saturday Night

DirecTV’s Super Bowl concert drew more than 9,000 attendees to Atlantic Station. Foo Fighters headlined the event and inspired the design of the space, which included a guitar throne for fans who wanted to pose for pics while channeling their inner Dave Grohl.