01/20/2015 11:44 am ET Updated Mar 22, 2015

Brands Go Digital for NFL Super Bowl XLIX

In the Power of Brand Management class at UCLA Extension this quarter we're previewing and analyzing 2015's Super Bowl XLIX advertisements. We're looking at whether or not the brand meets its promise and how effectively. Ever since the iconic 1984 Macintosh commercial from Apple, the intrigue of who's going to do what for their Super Bowl ad has become a spectator sport.

We're also looking for breakouts, washouts, misfits, and those who choose to sit this one out. Everyone knows the stakes are high. According to SuperBowl-ads
Neilsen Ratings 2014: The broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX had an average audience of 111.5 million viewers, which surpassed the previous year's Super Bowl, and became the most watched television program of all time. The game had a 46.4 rating and was viewed in over 53 million homes.

It should be even bigger this year, and NBC is counting on it. Thirty-second spots are being sold for an average of $4.5 million, which is up about $400,000 from 2014. And the halftime entertainment for 2015 will be a Pepsi-sponsored Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz extravaganza.

Here's what's new this year:

  1. YouTube will produce it's own halftime show during the Super Bowl featuring some of its biggest online stars, part of a broader initiative to promote advertisements on the Google Inc (GOOG).-owned video site. And YouTube is offering it's stars their own halftime show this year.
  2. Newcomer tells Business Insider why "A Super Bowl Advertiser Tells Us Why The Big Game Is Worth Every Penny Of The4.5 Million Asking Price".
  3. Newcastle Ale can't afford a Super Bowl Ad and decided to do something about it. They released a video on YouTube featuring Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza calling for other brands to help chip in for Newcastle's Super Bowl campaign this year, in her typical deadpan style. In exchange for cash, Newcastle will feature other brands' logos in its forthcoming ad.

Everyone's using digital platforms to "preview" their ads. We'll be looking for kids, pets, moms and humor, and watching closely for what works and what misses as a real-time case study in The Power of Brand Management. Here's a full list for this year from AdWeek.

Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit LLC, a digital media strategy company located in Beverly Hills, CA. She teaches at UCLA Anderson School of Management and is the author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media. She can be reached via email