A False Start for The Verge’s Super Bowl Ad

Vox Media site takes a page from the DNP, TKTK playbook

For the briefest of moments today, a few lucky folks caught a premature glimpse of something major: The Verge’s 30-second Super Bowl XLIX ad.


The page was quickly taken down, but not before we here at FishbowlNY read the “DNP” headline, the “TKTK” placeholder text and enjoyed the embedded video. The Verge TV ad is *almost* as impressive as the idea that parent Vox Media can afford the very large outlay required for a 30-second Super Bowl XLIX spot.

The ad (we’ve confirmed it will air during the February 1 telecast) is all about how Smartphones are changing everything. ‘It’s changing how we live… and even, how we die…’ the male narrator intones. ‘This is the future. And it belongs, to you.’

A few Twitter users thought perhaps The Verge had posted the “DNP” page on viral purpose. But as the quick removal confirms, the bylined item by site EIC Nilay Patel was not meant to see the light of January 20, noontime day.


Update (3:00 p.m.):
Per a tweet from Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff, The Verge ad that was not meant to “get out this way” is now being officially shared:

Update (4:45 p.m.):
As Michael Sebastian at Ad Age and our colleague Mona Zhang at Adweek both point out, The Verge ad could be a regional Super Bowl buy rather than a national one. If regional, the 30-second spot will mean a much smaller outlay of cash for Vox Media. But as Savannah, Georgia personal injury lawyer Jamie Casino demonstrated in 2014, regional can still have a broad national impact.

*Sebastian has updated his item: it is indeed a regional spot. And very regional at that: Helena, Montana!

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.