Time Warner's HBO returned to the Super Bowl for the first time in more than 20 years to promote the second season of "Westworld," its sci-fi/Western mashup.
The version here is an extended cut of the 30-second spot that actually ran during the third quarter of Super Bowl LII. Set to an instrumental cover of Kanye West's "Runaway," it was accompanied online by a faux website for the fictional company, Delos behind the show's titular theme park. Popsugar reported that the ad contains a coded message to lead people to the site:
The blocks above the bulls can be converted to binary code, which can be translated to an IP address: 184.108.40.206. This IP address leads to an astounding website: delosdestinations.com.
But it's more likely that fans found the site through Popsugar, or other press.
The broadcast networks that carry the Super Bowl don't typically accept ads from competing TV programmers, particularly the other big broadcasters, but cable networks and streaming services can find their way to a buy. The 2018 Super Bowl also included ads for Hulu ("Castle Rock"), Amazon Prime ("Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan") and Netflix ("The Cloverfield Paradox").
HBO ran back-to-back Super Bowl ads in 1997 and 1998. Those spots promoted the pay-TV network, not a specific series.
Director: Jonathan Nolan, who created the show with Lisa Joy.
QUARTER AIRED: Q3