Triller will not grace the Super Bowl with a commercial.
The video app tried to produce a spot for this Sunday’s contest, but the plans fell through, according to the company.
“We were planning on running a spot, however by the time we were able to nail the creative there were only 3rd quarter second position spots," says Triller’s co-founder and executive chairman Bobby Sarnevesht. "For the same amount of money, we realized that we could reach a broader base and at the same time reward our loyal users.”
Instead, Triller, a fledgling mobile video app trying to break big with creators and brands, is doing a promotional event with another startup called VersusGame. Triller and VersusGame are running a contest around Super Bowl weekend. A Super Bowl ad costs $5.5 million, for a 30-second spot on CBS during the game.
"As we were preparing our spot for the Super Bowl, we realized the best thing we can do is use our resources and community and reward them and thank them for their support," Sarnevesht said in an announcement on Thursday. "We are thrilled to have partnered with the iconic Maxim and VersusGame to bring this Super Bowl contest to life. To our users, we are listening, and we want to elevate your voices, your art and continue to provide a place where you do you.”
The publisher Maxim is also a partner in the VersusGame promotion.
Earlier this month, a person close to Triller said that there were plans for a Super Bowl commercial but that the production was halted before getting a final cut. It was unclear if Triller ever bought ad time from CBS for a Super Bowl commercial.
The company did not comment on the proposed commercial at the time, and declined to comment further for this story.
Triller jumped into prominence in August when it saw a chance to compete with TikTok, which was in the middle of a bruising fight with the Trump administration. It seemed possible that TikTok, a Chinese-owned app, could be banned in the U.S. or forced to sell to a U.S. company. After Donald Trump lost the presidency, the threat mostly passed without harming TikTok’s potential, and it is still wildly popular with about 100 million people in the U.S.
Triller has claimed it benefited though, by riding a wave of new signups as top-name creators were looking for new apps to try. Triller struck some splashy partnerships with online celebrities like Josh Richards and the family of TikTok star Charli D’Amelio. It also works with most record labels and has run promotions with major brands like Pepsi.
Triller has also been good at self-promotion, and was the force behind the popular pay-per-view event last year featuring a fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones. Jr.
Around the Super Bowl, Triller now says it will run a contest with VersusGame with a prize pool that could offer the winner a chance at $1 million. The contest is free to enter. Starting today, VersusGame will launch a question live on Triller, and two more questions will be asked live on Friday and Saturday. Then at 5 p.m. ET on Super Bowl Sunday, the chosen three finalists will be announced and asked 10 money questions live on Triller for the chance to win the grand prize. The winner will be announced after the game on Sunday.
Triller and VersusGame said the most anyone could win is $1 million, but it's not guaranteed the grand prize will get that big.
The announcement said they “aim to make one lucky fan a millionaire.” Hip-hop stars 24kGoldn and MurdaBeatz will co-host the action on Triller on Sunday.