By Sahil Patel
Those who aren’t interested in watching Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz during this year’s “Super Bowl Halftime Show” will have the chance to go online and watch some of YouTube’s biggest stars instead.*
YouTube plans to put on its own halftime show during the year’s biggest television event. It will be hosted by Harley Morenstein, the main guy behind the popular YouTube cooking series “Epic Meal Time.” Morenstein is a member of Collective Digital Studio, which will be producing the program in partnership with YouTube. More than 20 YouTube stars and musicians — some of whom are also affiliated with CDS — will appear during the show, including Freddie Wong, Toby Turner, and Rhett and Link.
Running during the game and filmed at YouTube Space LA, YouTube’s show will feature musical performances and stunts, as well as fake ads created by the online stars. Wong’s ad, for instance, will be a parody of ‘90s-style ads for sugary drinks, one that devolves into something much darker, according to Bloomberg.
The halftime show is part of YouTube’s overall effort to get advertisers to use its platform. The live-stream will air on the AdBlitz channel, which YouTube uses as a hub for brands to distribute their Super Bowl ads.
“The halftime show falls in nicely with this huge theme for us, which is the notion of brands as creators and the commercial as content,” said Suzie Reider, managing director of brand solutions for Google, to Bloomberg. “When you’re an advertiser, your ad sits on YouTube next to a piece of content.”
Currently, AdBlitz has teasers for some ads that will run during the game. Once a commercial has aired on TV, the brand usually uploads it to the channel — though that might not be the best strategy, based on stats provided by YouTube. Last year, Super Bowl ads that were released before the game were watched more than 160 million times on YouTube — and averaged 2.5 times more views than those that were released on game day.
Following the game, AdBlitz will also have a “postgame gallery” offering behind-the-scenes footage of various Super Bowl spots.
*Or you could be a real American and watch the Puppy Bowl.