Super Bowl, Super Digital Media, and the Super Steelers

steelers.jpgRafat Ali of paidcontent.org lists the multitude of platforms on which Super Bowl advertisements will be viewable following the game, including mobile, digital cable, and on-demand. Plus, MSN is going to stream them and Yahoo archive them online, while Heavy.com already offers the (very funny) “banned” ads. As this USA Today article states, “Super Bowl ads will be anywhere you want them to be.”

This treatment is a great example of the potential of how widely dispersed digital microchunked content can spread if producers are willing to untether it from restrictions to time-, place-, and platform-shifting. Of course, the content producers in this case are the advertisers (a great example of advertorial content), and perhaps this case of Super Bowl ads is unique. But I am left thinking that there are some lessons which could be gleaned here.

While the above is notable, the most interesting thing (in the context of “digital change”) I’ve found in the build-up to this weekend’s game is the number of microchunked video clips people have forwarded to me via e-mail from my hometown of Pittsburgh. Whether it’s the newest version of the classic Here We Go song on YouTube or a local KDKA broadcast of the rally today in downtown Pittsburgh, these clips have been spreading like wildfire among Pittsburghers. It’s amazing to see uncontained digital video content spread.

I find myself agreeing with a lot of the things that Fred Wilson has been writing on the subject of rich-media content recently, including a nice soundbite this week, “Bits are bits. They are going to get widely distributed… That’s how this medium works.”

I am looking forward to watching the ads again, game highlights, and hopefully Pittsburgh receiving the Vince Lombardi trophy – when I want, where I want, and how I want.

Go Steelers.

David Beisel

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has been focused on early stage Internet startups his entire career, both as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As an investor in the digital media space, David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing. David holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University. He also founded and leads the Boston Innovators Group, an organization which holds quarterly entrepreneur events drawing a thousand attendees.

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