Why Nickelodeon's Super Bowl Broadcast Was a 'Sweet Victory' For Paramount

Nick's Big Game included commentary from SpongeBob and appearances by celebs like Clamuel L. Jackson

Are you ready, kids?

Sunday’s Super Bowl 58 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Fransisco 49ers got even more colorful color commentary thanks to Nickelodeon’s first alternate Super Bowl telecast, which ADWEEK is calling the slime-ulcast.

Partly in honor of SpongeBob’s 25th anniversary, the cast of the show, including SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny) and Patrick Star (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke), joined CBS Sports analyst Nate Burleson and play-by-play announcer Noah Eagle to call the game, with Sandy Cheeks (voiced by Carolyn Lawrence) giving updates from the sideline.

“I don’t think we’re in Las Vegas anymore, bro,” Burleson said when kicking off coverage from Bikini Bottom.

For those watching the game on CBS and Paramount+, here’s what you missed during the Nickelodeon broadcast:

Talk about a ‘Sweet Victory’

Following a Sunday afternoon showing of Sing 2 on Nick, SpongeBob opened the Big Game with a remastered version of “Sweet Victory,” which included updated animation and footage of the Chiefs and 49ers.

“Sweet Victory” comes from the 2001 SpongeBob episode “Band Geeks,” featuring SpongeBob and his crew coming together to help Squidward look good in front of his old classmate Squilliam at the Bubble Bowl.

Everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic sponge previously made an appearance during Maroon 5’s Super Bowl halftime show in 2019 after more than a million people signed a petition to get “Sweet Victory” into the game. However, that was just a small clip of SpongeBob that helped introduce rapper Travis Scott.

This was truly a sweet victory.

Family-friendly ads

With several brands, including beer companies and sportsbooks, not being allowed to broadcast on Nickelodeon, Paramount ad sales chief John Halley told ADWEEK that 15-20 ads were set to be Nick-only. And those Nick-only ads reportedly came at a hefty discount. Paramount was seeking upwards of $7 million for 30-second spots this year, but Nick ads came in at around $300,000.

Among the changes for the slime-ulcast, instead of a commercial for Starry with Ice Spice, Nickelodeon had an ad for Chuck E. Cheese. And instead of the trailer for the Planet of the Apes sequel, the Nick broadcast had a promo for Inside Out 2.

Though most Super Bowl ads typically debut during the Big Game, the Nick-only broadcast ads, including a spot with Kelly Clarkson for Wayfair and another commercial for Juicy Drop Gummy Dip N Stix, were already out ahead of the matchup.

Other brands appearing during the game outside of the CBS broadcast included Push Pop Gummy Pop Its Candy, Lunchables and Cookeez Makery.

Cameos get animated

In addition to SpongeBob and his crew, the Nickelodeon Big Game broadcast also had cameos from a variety of cartoon characters.

SpongeBob’s Larry the Lobster showed up on the field to talk about working out, AR jellyfish constantly floated around the stadium and Dora the Explorer and Boots appeared to explain the rules and semi-shame teams for having false starts.

“Where are we going? Back five yards!” the pair said.

Plankton’s giant robot made an appearance while having “bubble butt,” with bubbles streaming out of his propulsion system.

“Say excuse me,” the game-calling crew agreed.

In addition, pans of the crowd showed underwater versions of terrestrial celebrities, including Clamuel L. Jackson, Oprah Finfrey, Herring Styles and Doja Catfish.

Though the characters could sometimes distract from the game, running all over the field while actual plays were going on, there wasn’t much to see early on anyway. The score was only 10-3 midway through the third quarter.

Putting the slime in ‘slime-ulcast’

It wouldn’t be a Nickelodeon broadcast without slime, so Nick broke out slime cannons throughout the game, supposedly dousing the Bikini Bottom/Vegas crowd with tons of green goop.

And to really kick things into gear, field goals were accompanied by blasters full of slime or Krabby Patties.

Plankton may never get the Krabby Patty recipe, but Nick has found its secret formula for the Super Bowl.

For the latest Super Bowl 58 advertising news—who’s in, who’s out, teasers, full ads and more—check out Adweek’s Super Bowl 2024 Ad Tracker and the rest of our stories here. And join us on the evening of Feb. 11 for the best in-game coverage of the commercials.

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