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The business of Super Bowl advertising doesn’t wait for game time anymore, with online engagement serving as a key component to hyping ads way ahead of Sunday. The data crunchers at Bellevue, Wash.-based keep track of it all and let fans know everything from what’s trending to how it all compares to previous years.

The good news for the folks at Pokemon is that the video game franchise’s 70-second spot is leading the pack when it comes to earned engagement across search, social and online video views. The ad celebrating Pokemon’s 20th anniversary was released near the end of January and during Super Bowl 50 will air as a 30-second sot at the beginning of the third quarter.

As of Thursday, the Pokemon ad had 321,000 social actions — total tweets (shares and mentions), Facebook (likes, shares and comments), YouTube (votes and comments), and (votes and comments). On YouTube, the ad had 12.3 million views so far. The next closest advertiser was Axe, the men’s grooming product, with 8.4 million views.

According to, the 897,000 social actions so far for the dozens of ads that are out there trails last year’s offering by more than 500,000 actions. You might remember the breakout social star of 2015, the “Like a Girl” spot from Always.

Elsewhere on’s leaderboard, two tech companies manage to join Pokemon in the top 10. Quickbooks was holding down the No. 7 spot, not with an ad for its own online accounting software, but by being the firm that sponsored a small business ad for the big game. The strong taste of Death Wish coffee is represented by a ship full Vikings rowing to their demise.

An ad from T-Mobile featuring hip-hop star Drake makes the leaderboard at No. 10. The outspoken “un-carrier” takes its usual shots at the mobile competition and uses Drake’s popular “Hotline Bling” song and video style as the hook. Check out the extended version:

T-Mobile said on Thursday that because it is “all about listening to customers,” it was going to use a Twitter poll to decided whether to air its planned 30-second Drake ad on Sunday, or the extended spot. If “More Drake” wins — and it was running away with it in the early going — that’s the ad that will air, the company said.

Meanwhile, Ad Age pointed out this week that Super Bowl 50 is poised to be “Celeb Bowl” with the amount of ads featuring celebrities. According to’s data, 40 celebs have appeared so far in ads and teasers ahead of the game.

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