We Hosted GM's Will Ferrell Super Bowl Ad - You'll Never Believe What Happened Next

What happens when General Motors gives you an HD version of their new Super Bowl Ad and you post it to YouTube before they do? We found out. Here’s what we learned by uploading the General’s Will Ferrell “No Way Norway” big game ad.

The Setup – No Way Norway

While the “big game” comes and goes each year, Super Bowl Ads seem to last longer than four quarters. And GM’s Big Game ad this year certainly got some traction. GM was one of the lucky recipients of the big game commercial lottery.

Their ad, which featured Will Ferrell being upset that Norway has more EV’s than the US, spread like fire. So much so, other automakers made their own versions responding to GM’s advertisement.  Even the country of Norway got involved, making their own video about GM’s video.

But it turns out GM made one small mistake. One that allowed us to syphon half of GM’s total views for the commercial.

They gave us the HD version of the commercial before they posted it to YouTube themselves.

Because of this, GM-Trucks.com was able to get considerable insight into the ad, amass over 1.6 million views (almost the same amount GM was able to gain on their own YouTube channel) and beat out GM in the number of comments and thumbs-up.

So, what did we learn from “No Way Norway?” Let’s show you.

No Way Norway Super Bowl Ad – GM vs GM-Trucks.com

As of February 26th, 2020

GM-Trucks.com

  • 1,581,250 Views
  • 1,755 comments
  • 11k thumbs up
  • 1.4k thumbs down

General Motors

  • 1,620,366 views
  • 1,456 comments
  • 9.9K thumbs up
  • 903 thumbs down

No Way Norway Super Bowl Ad – The Statistics

General Motors would never let us know the behind the scenes statistics into who viewed their ad, what country they were from, what sex and age they are, and how long they watched. That info would be held close to GM’s chest and finding out these types of “return on investment” almost never happens. Unless you host the ad and find out for yourself. Here’s what we learned.

How Viewers Found “No Way Norway” On YouTube
Most of the views of our hosted ad came from sources external to YouTube. We’ll explain why in a moment.  33% came from YouTube Search, which 12.2% showing up on viewers homepage when they loaded YouTube.  7.3% were direct views, most likely coming from viewers clicking a link to the video, on a page or in an email. 1.7% of the views came from an unknown source, potentially people running ad blockers or analytics blockers.

GM - No Way Norway - Ad Views
GM – No Way Norway – Ad Views By Source

Where Viewers Found “No Way Norway”

By getting a jump start on hosting GM’s Big Game Ad, external news websites found our video first and began embedding it – instead of GM’s official video. Respected news sources like the Washington Post, MSN.com, People Magazine, The Atlantic, and The Detroit Free Press all chose to embed our video over the official GM Super Bowl Ad.

Websites That Embedded Or Linked To Our GM Super Bowl Ad
Websites That Embedded Or Linked To Our GM Super Bowl Ad

The Age, Sex & Location of “No Way Norway” Viewers

Perhaps the most valuable information we gained from hosting GM’s “No Way Norway” ad was the insight into who watched it. As you see below, the ad was mostly viewed by males over females- 75.7% versus 24.3%.

The largest age group to view “No Way Norway” was the age ground 25-34 years old, at 28.2%. Following very closely behind, age group 35-44 years old came up at 26.7%. That means a full 54.9% of “No Way Norway” fell between 25 and 44 years old. That seems like a huge success for General Motors.

Ages of People Who Viewed "No Way Norway"
Ages of People Who Viewed “No Way Norway”

The location of people who viewed “No Way Norway” is also interesting. We assume GM intended the advertisement to “hit home” in the good old US of A. Interestingly enough however, only 62% of the ads views came from the United States. Norway, the subject of the ad captured only 6% of the total views.

The location of people who viewed "No Way Norway"
The location of people who viewed “No Way Norway”

How Much & How Long People Watched “No Way Norway”

Ad views are a great metric, assuming people watch the entire ad. How long did people watch “No Way Norway?” Turns out, almost the entire ad. The average viewer ended up watching 88.7% of the commercial. That’s 1:20 of the 1:31 clip. As of publishing this article, over 35.5k minutes of watching have been banked.

How long viewers stayed watching "No Way Norway"
How long viewers stayed watching “No Way Norway”
Ad views by minutes watched - "No Way Norway"
Ad views by minutes watched – “No Way Norway”

Conclusion

We never expected our hosted clip of “No Way Norway” to make the huge splash that it did. Our goal was only to have a source to embed into our article about the Super Bowl Ad in the first place. Where it went from there was a shock and pleasant surprise to everyone at GM-Trucks.com.

While we’re no advertising experts, it seems at least on the surface, that GM got what they paid for in terms of exposure. Will Ferrell brought in views and picking a fight with Norway, at least in a light hearted way, got lots of attention.

We hope this rare view inside the metrics of a Super Bowl Ad was useful and interesting to you.

We’ve reached out to GM for comment and will let you all know if and when we hear back.