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Has T-Mobile’s $14.8M Super Bowl Gamble Paid Off?

February 8, 2016 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

Super Bowl 50 may have ended with the Carolina Panthers going down to the Denver Broncos in what might very well be the swansong for Peyton Manning, but it’s the TV commercials that are getting a whole lot of attention, as is the case every year. According to reports prior to the big game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, TV spots were said to have sold for as much as $5 million a pop during what’s believed to be the most widely watched televised event in the US – sporting or otherwise. This year, it was the turn of T-Mobile to spend a boatload of money on Sunday night, with reports claiming that the carrier dropped as much as $14.8 million to air just two commercials on CBS.

Of course, most netizens were already aware of what was coming their way, seeing as at least one of the ads was already released on the internet, prior to Sunday’s national TV broadcast. While the ‘Drop the Balls‘ commercial had Steve Harvey parodying his Miss Universe pageant faux pas that became the butt of all jokes on late night talk shows and spawned a thousand memes on the internet, the second one, named ‘Restricted Bling‘, was an equally funny commercial (featuring Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’) that took a potshot at all the fine prints and hidden charges often not declared front and center by the telecom companies. While Verizon is believed to have spend as much as $133 million on commercials during regular and post-season NFL games, the company was conspicuous by its absence during Super Bowl Sunday.

Now, iSpot.tv is claiming that T-Mobile’s latest commercials were able to garner as many as 100 million mentions across social media within less than 24-hours of their airing. According to the website, T-Mo’s heavy spending on the game might well have paid off big time, seeing as the carrier got 11 percent of all “earned digital response” garnered by brands that aired commercials during the event, on the back of 7.9 million online views on Super Bowl Sunday. While the Steve Harvey ad was seen as many as 4.3 million times online, the video featuring Drake was also seen, shared and mentioned as many as 570,000 times across social media, on Sunday alone.