Finding most engaging Super Bowl ad is goal of Bellevue company

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- The Super Bowl is not just football. Heavy hitting advertisers are shelling out an average $4 million for a 30-second spot in attempt to be the best and most talked about ad during the game.

But times have changed. Advertisers are more active this year, using the internet and social media to build up buzz about their very expensive spots before they hit air. In some cases, the entire ad is online and not just a preview teaser.

"It used to be you had no idea what was going to air during the game," says Sean Muller, CEO of

The Bellevue-based company is trying to create a new paradigm for advertisers and broadcasters. Its goal is to determine the most engaging ad aired during the Super Bowl time frame. Notice, it's not just during the Super Bowl broadcast but the weeks leading up to and after the Super Bowl.

By blending a series of metrics including online views of the commercial, social media postings and estimate spot value and cost, iSpot.TV wants to deliver a "viral" number so to speak and do it all in real time for everyone to see.

"And that's really the big change for all these guys is understanding in real time how consumers are responding," says Muller.

Anyone can see the engagement of the ad in real time on the website.

"If you are talking about their commercial and their brand on social media, that means all your followers can see that conversation. So it sort of has this amplification effect," says Muller.

Capturing second-screen experience is becoming coveted by both advertisers and broadcasters along with traditional ratings. Muller says more people are watching TV with a mobile device in their hand and that's where the second screen experience takes place.

The day after the Super Bowl, iSpot will hold its own "Spot Bowl 2014". It will seed the top 32 commercials in a bracket format, similar to the NCAA's basketball tournament. The most accurate bracket will win $2500. It's free to enter. Commercials will be paired off and web site visitors will vote on who should win each pairing.

The early favorite involves a dog and a Clydesdale. If you watch any TV, you could probably figure out who's is behind that ad.