CBS Pushes Programs With Plethora of Super Bowl Promos

CBS used the Super Bowl as a promotional platform, airing 74% more spots for its own programming during the big game compared to last year.

The low-scoring game was mainly judged to be lackluster, but some commercials scored high with viewers and critics.

According to statistics from iSpot.TV, there were 60 spots from 54 advertisers during Super Bowl LIII, down from 83 and 54 respectively.

The number of promos for CBS Corp. assets jumped to 33 from 19 on NBC a year ago.


Most notable for CBS were was a spot for CBS All Access that promoted the upcoming series The Twilight Zone. At the beginning of that spot, the screen got glitchy before showing Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz studio going dark. A “CBS is Off the Air” graphic displayed that recalled CBS’s broadcast of the 2013 Super Bowl when the power went out in the New Orleans Super Dome for 34 minutes in the third quarter.

Related: TCA 2019: 'The Twilight Zone' Debuts on CBS All Access April 1

The spot was shot late month at an empty Mercedes Benz stadium

CBS All Access also promoted the new season of Star Trek Discovery, which will feature a younger Mr. Spock.

CBS promoted its upcoming The World’s Best and the Late Show, which followed the game, the upcoming Grammy Awards and series including FBI, The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Man with a Plan, Survivor and God Friended Me. CBS also launched the campaign for its upcoming competition series Million Dollar Mile with a spot that featured basketball star LeBron James, who is an executive producer for the series.

There was also a spot for CBS’s Showtime unit.

Streaming companies Netflix and Hulu were in the game. Amazon was there as well, with a spot for its Prime Access video service featuring the new series Hanna, as well as for Amazon’s Alexa (The Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, also bought an ad in the game.)

YouTube TV was also a sponsor of the broadcast, including the pre-game show.

The most popular commercial during the game was for the NFL, according to USA Today’s Ad Meter. The spot, kicking off the beginning for leagues 100th anniversary, showed a roster full of NFL stars past and present.


The second most popular ad was for Amazon Alexa called Not Everything Makes the Cut.


An ad for Microsoft, called We all Win came in third.


Hyundai’s commercial, The Elevator, rose to #4.


The emotional spot, The Coach Who Wouldn’t Be Here from Verizon was the fifth most popular spot.


Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.