HBO, Netflix Score Surprises With Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl LII produced an exciting upset on the field as the underdog Philadelphia Eagles overcame the defending champion New England Patriots in a 41-33 shootout. 

The nail-biting game salvaged what was a so-so lineup of Super Bowl commercials, which have become as big an attraction for viewers as the football game itself. With many of the big commercials leaked prior to the game – especially those from television networks and streaming services -- it's tough for advertisers to surprise viewers with their ads, which were reported to cost more than $5 million on average for a 30-second spot.

That said, Netflix and HBO did make some news along with their Super Bowl commercial offerings. Netflix premiered a trailer for its movie The Cloverfield Paradox during the Super Bowl, and then surprised fans of the horror franchise by announcing that the film would be offered on the streaming service immediately after the Eagles-Patriots game.

The Cloverfield Paradox finished among the top 10 Super Bowl commercials that received the most attention from viewers during the game, according to research company TVision Insights.

The stunt was touted by none other than Netflix’s 13th director/producer Ava DuVernay, who tweeted last night about the surprise launch of the movie.

Woman of color-led, sci-fi thriller released worldwide day + date w/ big Netflix muscle for black director, his super producer + POC cast. No advance press, ads, trailer. Straight to the people. Gamechanger. Congrats to helmer #JuliusOnah + my dears JJ, Gugu, David.

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 5, 2018

HBO also made news last night by announcing the April 11 premiere of the second season of its sci/fi western series Westworld via the series's Super Bowl trailer. The Emmy Award-winning series boasts a star-studded returning cast featuring Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright and James Marsden.

Other OTT networks stepped on the Super Bowl advertising field last night with spots for their respective new shows, including Amazon Prime, which touted its new series Jack Ryan -- based on Tom Clancy’s political/thriller novels – and Hulu, which debuted the first spot for its Castle Rock anthology series from Stephen King.

Below are the TV ads that aired during the Super Bowl:

The Cloverfield Paradox – Netflix

Westworld – HBO

Castle Rock – Hulu

Jack Ryan – Amazon

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.