YouTube is giving viewers around the world the chance to preview some of the often clever, humorous and even serious advertisements that will broadcast during Super Bowl XLVIII through an online gallery that's available to viewers.
"The wait is over, football fans: from today you can get a sneak peek of some of this year's Big Game ads right here on YouTube," wrote Leena El-omar of the YouTube sports and auto programs unit, in a Jan. 16 post on the YouTube Official Blog. "For the first time ever, the YouTube Ad Blitz pregame gallery will host these game day commercials and teasers prior to kickoff."
In the gallery, users are able to watch and vote for their favorite ads, and then share them with friends through social media networks.
Super Bowl XLVIII will be played on Feb. 2 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Also included on the 2014 Super Bowl Ad Blitz channel are teasers for pre-game commercials where viewers can go to one place to see what's coming up, wrote El-omar. "Last year some of the most iconic ads were released before the game even began—remember the cat hugging lady, purple genie chihuahua and exploding soda bottles?"
Highlights and playoff analysis of the 2013-2014 NFL season that led right up to the Super Bowl will also be featured on the Blitz Gallery, wrote El-omar, as well as "custom content" from a variety of YouTube stars, she wrote.
"It's clear how much you love watching and sharing these commercials on YouTube," wrote El-omar. "In 2013, you watched Big Game ads more than 265 million times for over 3.2 million hours—that's the equivalent of watching 800,000 Big Game broadcasts."
The Super Bowl isn't the only big, noisy, exciting public event that moves YouTube into action, of course. YouTube often gets involved in cultural events to bring together fans of music, fashion, culture and more.
In November 2013, YouTube hosted its first-ever YouTube Music Awards, with fans voting for their favorite performers. The awards presentation, which was streamed live on Nov. 3, presented music fans with a wide assortment of live performances from some of the biggest music stars who became global hits on YouTube in 2013, including Arcade Fire, Avicii, CDZA, Earl Sweatshirt, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Lindsey Stirling, M.I.A., Tyler, The Creator and Walk off the Earth.
In September, YouTube streamed live online coverage of the 2013 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week events in New York City, bringing the latest fashions and trends to the world. Included in the YouTube coverage were more than 60 live shows from BCBG, Rachel Zoe, Betsey Johnson, Jenny Packham and more on the IMG Fashion YouTube channel, as well as stylish channel live stream shows on getting made up to the hilt with expert help from fashion and make-up experts such as Louise Goldin and Jeremy Scott.
In August 2013, YouTube celebrated geeks with its first-ever "Geek Week" event that highlighted content, including "Game of Thrones," "The Big Bang Theory," Harry Potter and "The Avengers." The Geek Week celebration highlighted the global community on YouTube that loves superheroes, comics, gaming, science and science fiction.
In May 2013, YouTube turned 8 years old, having launched in May 2005 as a video-sharing Website where people could post their creative works and watch to see if they gained any footholds. YouTube's popularity has been huge, with the site receiving more than 100 hours of uploaded video from creators each minute. All of that video content is being created by millions of partners and contributors, some of whom have become very popular through the growing site.
Also in May, YouTube announced a new pilot program through which viewers are able to buy premium video content for fees starting at 99 cents per month to reward video creators for their labors while encouraging the development of better video for the huge online audience. Some of the paid content at the start of the pilot included "Sesame Street," as well as "Ultimate Fighting Championship" (UFC), which offers classic fights such as a full version of their first event from UFC's new channel.
In March 2013, YouTube announced that it is providing video content for more than 1 billion viewers per month. The popular video-sharing site has helped launch the careers of a slew of entertainers and made celebrities out of ordinary citizens, thanks to viral videos.