3 Reasons Why the Blackout Was the Best Ad of the Super Bowl
Test and Monitor | Posted February 07, 2018

Super Bowl LII –  the day the TV went dark.

It was the moment they’d been waiting for- the Super Bowl was finally here. NBC had captured the attention of over 103.4 million viewers, and for a brief moment in time viewers’ attention was the last thing they wanted.  For 30 seconds, all 103.4 million people watched a blank black screen. As rumors swirled around about the cause of the blackout, it begged the question- how could they not have prevented this from happening?

In today’s digital era, innovation and engagement have primed us all to have high expectations and standards of excellence for the vendors we interact with. As an audience, we’re looking to be delighted, out witted, and a bit stunned by technology vendors. NBC is no exception. As confused, disappointed, and irritated as we all were by the interruption in the show, the blackout served as the most important ad to all technology creators out there. It is a reminder that performance, even when tested, needs to be monitored. Continuously.

Here’s Why We Think the Blackout Was the Best Ad of the Super Bowl:

  1. It reminds you of what’s at stake.  If the blackout had lost ad time, the seconds could have cost millions of ad dollars, considering a 30-second spot has been quoted to cost $5 million. Super Bowl Sunday is arguably one of the highest grossing ad revenue days of the year. Not to mention that the average American consumer plans to spend around $75 on Super Bowl Sunday, which if everyone who tuned in this year did spend that much, that’s almost 7.8 billion dollars. With viewership declining year over year, the NFL can no longer afford to keep having blackouts during the Super Bowl. In any business, downtime for digital assets will come with a cost, whether its revenue, brand affinity, loss of data, and more. If a blackout can happen to NBC when the stakes are this high, a blackout can happen to you too.

  1. It highlights the necessity to stay ahead of expectations and assumptions, always. Super Bowl Sunday is a big deal.  There’s no doubt that NBC had prepared for the show and tested all their equipment ahead of time. But things happen. An NBC spokesperson said that they “had a brief equipment failure that [was] quickly resolved. No game action or commercial time were missed.” While it is fortunate that the blackout didn’t coincide with game time or commercial spots, it doesn’t undo the effect it had on its viewers. Everyone, perhaps even NBC, had high expectations for the ‘game time experience,’ and NBC failed to deliver. The blackout promotes the fact that your performance and availability is ever-changing. Understanding how it changes is key to staying ahead.

  1. It Reinforces the Fact That Proactive Monitoring is Essential. While most synthetic monitoring tools do not monitor TV broadcasts, the blackout during the Super Bowl is the quintessential representation of the value of a tool like AlertSite. You need to know about performance degradation before your users do so you have time to avoid an issue rather than apologize for it happening. At the end of the day consumer is king. Brands can demand attention, but only businesses that deserve attention will retain it, and delivering exceptional experiences is key in unlocking the attention of your audience.

The blackout is a much-needed promotion for the value of monitoring. Your application could easily replace NBC in this scenario, and it’s our job to help you make sure that doesn’t happen. Learn more about how AlertSite helps businesses, or join us today for a webinar discussing how you can catch performance and availability issues earlier in Shift Left: The Art of Continuous Monitoring. If you're unavailable, register anyway & we'll send you the recording!



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