Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ted Ginn runs against the Denver Broncos in the first quarter in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, Feb. 7, 2016. Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

The numbers are in and it appears Super Bowl advertisers have become increasingly hip to the idea of revealing their spots before the big game. Traditionally, brands hoping to capitalize on the most watched TV event of the year waited until Sunday’s broadcast to do their big reveals.

But in the last couple of years, social media have allowed more advertisers to build up momentum weeks in advance of the football extravaganza, industry analysts say. It’s paid off tremendously this year for brands such Pokemon, Hyundai and Heinz, said Jason Damata, spokesman for the advertising metrics firm

“The days of advertising on the big game alone are quickly coming to an end,” Damata said Sunday in an email to International Business Times. “Half of all online views last year came before kickoff — brands that don’t get in the game early are just missing out on a huge chunk of consumer interest.”

According to, 50 brands and 84 ad teasers have amassed more than 373.8 million digital views going into Super Bowl Sunday. Nearly half of those views came from Facebook this year. A quarter more came from YouTube and were considered organic, meaning the brand didn’t pay to have the ad promoted or surfaced to social media users.

This year’s pregame ad releases include a wide array of brand commercials, movie teasers and consumer services. The dominant elements of this year’s spots are popular songs, humor and animals, IBT reported earlier. Most of the ads have been online for several days, but there were a few Saturday releases, including Advil, GoPro, Paramount Pictures’ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and Walt Disney Pictures’ “Jungle Book.”

But the winners of the pregame ad blitz were Pokemon, Hyundai and Heinz, which generated the most organic digital activity, data from showed. Pokemon’s spot celebrating its 20th anniversary netted 14.9 million organic views and 353,000 social actions leading in to Sunday.

Hyundai came in second with it “First Date” commercial featuring actor and comedian Kevin Hart as an overbearing dad, netting 6.2 million organic views out of 8.4 million. Some of the brand’s impressions on social media were paid promotions.

Heinz’s Weiner Stampede commercial was in third place ahead of Sunday’s game, netting 4 million views of an overall 9.6 million. It had been a “steady gainer” in the 24 to 48 hours leading into the CBS broadcast.

This proves that “ there’s an appetite for Super Bowl ads before the Super Bowl is played,” Damata said.

super bowl ad analysis
Workers prepare for NFL Super Bowl 50 outside Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, Feb. 6, 2016. Reuters/Mike Blake

Analysts also noted a large jump in social activity for the ads in the final 48 hours before the Super Bowl. As of Sunday morning, there were 3.3 million social actions explicitly related to Super Bowl 50 ads and teasers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. That amounts to a jump of nearly 2 million social actions since Friday, said.

For historical context, Super Bowl ads last year accounted for 8.9 percent of all social activity for ads that eventually ran on TV and 7.8 percent of all video views across digital platforms. During the 2015-16 NFL season, 2,545 national TV ads were aired.

“The brands are getting smart to the idea of leveraging social media weeks ahead of the Super Bowl,” Damata said.

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