By Anthony McMillan
For much of America, the Super Bowl halftime show consisted of Missy Elliott’s surprise appearance, the left shark’s choreography (or lack thereof), and Katy Perry’s roaring entrance. But for others, it was watching a man dive into a pool of cheese on YouTube.
For the first time, YouTube hosted its own, live halftime show for those less inclined to watch the traditional entertainment provided. The Google-owned video site’s halftime show was hosted by Harley Morenstein (of the popular YouTube channel EpicMealTime), and included appearances by more than 20 other popular YouTube creators and musicians. In addition to the cheese diving, the show consisted of various performances and stunts, as well as fake Super Bowl ads. YouTube decided to put on the event to promote the profiles of its online stars as well as further the notion of commercials as content, not fluff.
YouTube’s production of its own halftime show went hand-in-hand with their posting of real Super Bowl ads. They created their own bracket of advertising, allowing viewers to vote for their favorites to determine the winner of ads. This is something they have done in past years, which has proved successful. According to YouTube, viewers have watched around 7 million hours worth of Super Bowl ads and teasers, which is up 4% from last year’s 6.3 million hours.
If YouTube’s innovation gives this website the momentum to take on such innately widescreen events such as the Super Bowl, we can expect YouTube to do bigger things in the future.
Anthony McMillan is a contributing writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.