When you're a TV megacorporation hosting the Super Bowl, it seems like a shame to dedicate all that valuable advertising real estate to other companies. So broadcast, cable and digital behemoth NBCU is using some of its precious commercial time to tout sister network E!'s first scripted drama, The Royals.
A fictional chronicle of a badly behaved British royal family, the show stars Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena, alongside Vincent Regan as King Simon. The case also includes William Moseley and Alexandra Park as their twin children, Liam and Eleanor.
It's a co-production with Lionsgate, and E! has thrown every possible support behind it, up to and including renewing the series for a second season before Episode 1 even airs. The Royals is set to premiere on E! Sunday March 15, at 10 p.m.
The network is calling the 30-second Super Bowl ad a "mini-movie" (and indeed, the spots for this year's show cost enough to make a high-end indie film—some $4.5 million a piece, enough to put together a Steven Soderbergh thriller). The spot is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from E!: all about fame and red carpets and mostly in slow motion. The kicker at the end is pretty fun.
Networks have a history of getting inventive in the promo slots—last year's interstitials for 24: Live Another Day set the bar pretty high. This spot is part of NBCU's Symphony program, an internal initiative designed to help different pieces of the company's huge portfolio play harmoniously with each other—it's also where NBC can go to create value when it decides it's not going to lower prices on record-breaking Super Bowl spots.
The full Super Bowl promo for The Royals is below: