Bustle and WikiHow Are in the Super Bowl, Kind Of

The two publishers will be mentioned as part of a Google ad

Bustle and wikiHow will get a quick shoutout during a Super Bowl ad.
Bustle and wikiHow will get a quick shoutout during a Super Bowl ad. Bustle, WikiHow

It’s rare for media companies to advertise in the Super Bowl. With 30-second spots that run above $5 million, you could see why. But this year, Super Bowl viewers with sharp eyes will see the names of two unlikely participants: Bustle and wikiHow.

Publishers have waded in these waters before, like last year’s ad from The Washington Post (bankrolled by owner Jeff Bezos, the spot was originally for the billionaire’s space company Blue Origin) and 2018’s ad from Blacture, a media platform from hip-hop star Pras (which seems to have yet to get off the ground).

That’s not what this is, however. Bustle and wikiHow don’t have 30-, 60- or 90-second slots in the game. Instead, they both make an appearance in an ad for Google. In Google’s ad called “Loretta,” which tells a story of a man remembering his love for his life through Google technology, the man searches “how to not forget.”

In the Google ad, search results appear differently.

Typically, this particular Google search (at least in an incognito browser) will turn up three hits: an article from instructables.com, telegraph.co.uk and lifehack.org.

A standard Google search results in different articles.

In the Google ad, the search turns up two results at the 8-second mark: one from wikiHow and another from bustle.com. In response to a request for comment, Google said it doesn’t discuss details of agreements with partners. A request for comment was not returned by wikiHow.

“This is a beautiful and emotional spot that hits so many chords. Search is 60% or more of our traffic each month and Google is obviously a very important partner across many parts of our business,” said Jason Wagenheim, CRO, Bustle Digital Group, said in a provided statement. “To share even this one second of such an important moment for them is meaningful for us, and an honor.”

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.