The Denver Broncos are your Super Bowl 50 champions, but Pikachu had a pretty good day as well.
The Pokémon Company produced one of the most viewed commercials that aired during the NFL championship event last night. Looking to YouTube, the pocket-monster promotion has nearly 18 million views. That’s compared to Hyundai’s 12 million for the its “First Date” spot featuring comedian Kevin Hart. A 30-second slice of airtime during the Super Bowl went for $5 million this year, but The Pokémon Company is coming off 20 continuous years of success with its beloved franchise. And while this commercial is something of a victory lap, it is also a chance to keep the property fresh in people’s minds as Pokémon products continue pushing harder into the $30 billion mobile gaming sector in addition to the reliable Nintendo games, television shows, trading card game, and movies.
Sometime this year, we will finally get Pokémon Go for iOS and Android. This game has players walking around their real world and using their smartphones to capture creatures. This app will join Pokémon Shuffle and Pokémon: Trading Card Game on non-Nintendo mobile devices. As part of the 20th-anniversary celebration, however, Nintendo (as one third owner of The Pokémon Company) is releasing a new bundle of its handheld 3DS hardware that includes the very first Pokémon games (Blue, Red, and Yellow).
And the online views are not the only evidence that a Super Bowl ad has people excited about Pokémon. Advertising and social analytics company iSpot.tv has data that shows the Super Bowl ad generated 41,000 social interactions on Sunday night. And 88 percent of the sentiment regarding the ad was positive. Considering that The Pokémon Company released its Super Bowl ad well before the game itself, it is impressive that it was still able to get people talking.
Of course, Pikachu’s commercial wasn’t the ad the most people were talking about. That honor went to Mountain Dew’s “Puppymonkeybaby,” which seems clearly designed by scientists to upset people on social media. That commercial saw 334,000 social actions last night even if it has only had 9 million views on YouTube.