The Super Bowl turned out to be a mixed bag for mobile game companies that advertised during the television broadcast.
Ucool said it spent $2.25 million on its 15-second Super Bowl ad for Heroes Charge, a fantasy role-playing game. But it turned out to be the worst-rated of all 61 Super Bowl ads, according to the Ad Meter poll on the USA Today website.
The problem with the Heroes Charge ad is that it’s so short, and it doesn’t really give you a great idea of what’s going on in the game, which has proven quite popular since its launch last August. Ucool said that it was happy with the ad placement, next to the Victoria’s Secret ad, when everyone was probably glued to the TV. And the company said the reaction it received to the ad was “great.”
The fact that three mobile games were advertised on the Super Bowl at all is a sign of the times. Worldwide, mobile games are expected to reach $30 billion in revenues in 2015, surpassing overall revenues for console games, according to market researcher Newzoo. That may be why we saw Supercell’s Clash of Clans advertised on the Super Bowl instead of Call of Duty.
Supercell’s ad, which featured actor Liam Neeson, fared better than Ucool’s, as the Clash of Clans ad was rated 17 out of 61. On the other hand, Supercell spent $9 million on its commercial. A 30-second spot cost about $4.5 million, and Supercell’s ad ran for a full minute. And that doesn’t include the cost of paying Neeson, who was pretty funny.
Machine Zone’s ad, sadly, was closer to Ucool’s in popularity. The company’s Game of War: Fire Age ad starred supermodel Kate Upton, but it came in at 57 out of 61, making the list of the five worst commercials for the Super Bowl.
Interestingly, the biggest game-related winner among the ads wasn’t an ad for a game at all. The Pac-Man theme of Bud Light’s ad came in at No. 16, just ahead of the Clash of Clans ad.