Super Bowl ads and other moments that got the most attention online

Sadie Thoma, Google’s director of creative partnerships, tells WTOP what you were searching for Sunday night

Millions of viewers tuned in Sunday evening to catch the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. Millions also flocked online to watch this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials.

Sadie Thoma, Google’s director of creative partnerships, told WTOP that the number one Super Bowl ad on YouTube was Amazon’s Alexa Mind Reader spot, featuring married celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost.

The second most-watched commercial on YouTube was T-Mobile’s ad featuring Zach Braff and Donald Faison, the stars of the hit medical comedy, “Scrubs,” singing a duet.

Third on the list was carmaker Hyundai’s commercial with “Ozark” actor Jason Bateman.

“It’s interesting that the top three all had celebrities,” Thoma said. “That’s a big trend in general with Super Bowls — to try and really pull out all the stops.”

By Monday morning, the Amazon Alexa commercial already had more than 65 million views on YouTube. (Google’s parent company, Alphabet, owns YouTube.)

She said another theme of this year’s Super Bowl was an appeal to older millennials, with commercials referencing popular 1990s movies such as the Austin Powers films and “The Cable Guy.” The halftime show also featured musical legends such as Mary J Blige, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Eminem.

“A lot of what happens at the Super Bowl, when you’re watching the game and the ads, is a little bit of escapism,” said Thoma. “Nostalgia helps us do that.”

She said that the three most searched players on Google during the game were Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, followed by Odell Beckham Jr., Matthew Stafford and Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, all of the Rams.

Another popular question on the search engine was, “how big are the Rock’s arms?” — after Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson kicked off the game with a hype speech.

And, as for the great Super Bowl tradition of snacking, Thoma said more D.C. residents looked up “buffalo chicken dip” on Google than any other dip.

Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin is an anchor/reporter for WTOP. She started her career in New York City as a local TV reporter and has since covered foreign affairs and national politics as a Washington correspondent. She also anchored a nightly news show for an international network.

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