One of two marketers to benefit from the Super Bowl's first overtime in all 51 years, SoFi only got into the game by virtue of a contingency buy that would have meant nothing if the game went like all the others before it.
On the field, the Patriots completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Tom Brady's two-point conversion pass to wideout Danny Amendola knotted the score at 28-all with just a minute left in regulation, and Atlanta's subsequent failure to advance the ball out of its own territory sent the Super Bowl into overtime for the first time in 51 years. Because ad sales are about managing contingencies, Fox had pre-sold a number of bonus spots on the odd chance that Super Bowl LI would require a little temporal wiggle room, and as that prospect became a reality, other brands began making inquiries of their own.
"We always have overtime agreements in place, and did so this year," Fox Networks Group Exec VP-Ad Sales Bruce Lefkowitz told Advertising Age a few hours after the game had wrapped. "We were also garnering commitments in real time. We would have liked the greatest Super Bowl in history to go on forever, and were prepared if it did."
Because it only took the Pats nine plays to find the end zone, Fox only had the chance to air four ads in overtime. In a pod that aired between the coin toss and Matt Bosher's kickoff, the network reprised the Hulu spot for "The Handmaid's Tale" that first ran in the second quarter and then followed that trailer with the Sprint commercial about the dad who fakes his own death via vehicular freefallin order to get out of his Verizon contract ("Car"). Like the Hulu teaser, the Sprint spot also first appeared during the second quarter.
Two original ads closed out the overtime pod; Olivia Munn appeared in a 60-second spot for Proactiv ("Towel Drop"), and the student loan refinancing company SoFi bought 30-seconds for this internally created spot. According to Nielsen preliminary metered market data, the four OT spots aired as 74% of all TVs in use were tuned to Fox.
The SoFi ad was made in a week, using photos and videos that members sent during the company's #WhyISoFi contest. SoFi advertised during regulation in Super Bowl 50, its first big-game appearance ("Great Loans for Great People").
QUARTER AIRED: overtime