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Temu Goes Viral — Good And Bad — With ‘Shop Like A Billionaire’ Super Bowl Commercial

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E-commerce company Temu was among the biggest spenders on Super Bowl commercials during the airing of Super Bowl LVIII Sunday.

With ads coming in at a cost of $7 million for a 30-second spot, Temu airing the same commercial several times gained strong attention both good and bad.

What Happened: The cost of Super Bowl commercials continues to rise. Media companies like Paramount Global PARA PARAA, which aired Super Bowl LVIII, benefit from higher ad rates and continued strong demand.

Benzinga’s tracker showed the same commercial airing three times during the game and a fourth time shortly after the Kansas City Chiefs had won the game.

Unlike other companies that aired multiple Super Bowl commercials, but featured different brands or products (ie. Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch InBev), Temu aired the same ad each time during the big game.

Temu was launched in North America in September 2022 and is one of the business segments owned by PDD Holdings Inc PDD, a Chinese online retailer that owns the Pinduoduo social commerce platform. Temu also advertised during last year’s Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl LVIII commercial encouraged consumers to download the Temu app and “shop like a billionaire,” and included a catchy “ooh, ooh, Temu” refrain.

The ad from Temu was named one of the worst Super Bowl LVIII commercials by Ad Age.

“Well, that was surreal,” AdAge writes. “If the ‘ooh, ooh, Temu’ refrain/earworm didn’t sufficiently lodge itself in your brain, Temu paid to air the ad again — and again! — during the Super Bowl.”

Temu’s ties to China have drawn security concerns and data privacy concerns, and the inclusion of a Super Bowl ad from a company that has previously drawn attention from Congress led several elected officials to comment.

“Just like TikTok, Temu or any Chinese company must allow the Communist Party unfettered access to its data. This should be a non-starter for doing business in the United States,” Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said.

U.S. Representative Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) also took to Twitter to share her anger over the Temu ads.

“The Super Bowl having a CCP owned Temu commercial air SHOULD be a wake up call to all Americans. Temu is being sued for stealing customer financial info and having spyware embedded in their app. All that data is owned and controlled by the CCP. Don’t download the app!” Cammack tweeted.

Cammack also pointed to the irony of a cyber protection Super Bowl ad airing alongside the Temu commercials.

The Congresswoman called Temu “one of the most dangerous apps owned by the CCP that is designed to steal all of your data.”

As for how Temu was able to afford the $7-million price tag several times over for its Super Bowl commercials, Cammack agreed with a Twitter user who suggested “Temu paid for the ad with everyone’s stolen credit card information,” using a “100” emoji in response.

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Related Link: Super Bowl Commercials 2024: Complete List Of Super Bowl LVIII Ads And Companies Behind Them

Why It’s Important: While the Temu commercials drew plenty of backlash, searches for Temu also trended higher during the Super Bowl, according to Google Trends data, with many people learning about the ecommerce app for the first time.

Temu was the No. 3 free app on the Google Play Store as tracked by Benzinga Monday, trailing only Super Bowl LVIII streamer Paramount+ and social media platform TikTok, which President Joe Biden recently joined.

A report from Modern Retail after last year’s Super Bowl ads from Temu highlighted the e-commerce platform’s immediate boost in downloads and daily active users. Temu saw a 20% increase in daily active users after Super Bowl LVII compared to the prior day, according to the report.

In the month of February 2023, Temu saw strong app downloads that were higher than other large U.S. retailers like Target.

A report from Sensor Tower shared by Modern Retail said Temu had the biggest surge in user growth and downloads on the day of Super Bowl LVII. The app had 13.4 million monthly active users during portions of February 2023.

While Temu’s Super Bowl ad was cheesy to many and criticized by ad agencies, if it can prove the same results as last year’s ad in terms of increased downloads and user metrics, Temu likely won’t care about the criticism.

PDD Price Action: Shares of PDD Holdings were up 3% to $131.57 on Monday versus a 52-week trading range of $59.67 to $152.99. Shares of the company are up 37% over the last year.

Read Next: Temu vs. Dollar Stores: Is Alibaba’s Competitor Rewriting the Rules of American Retail?

Photo via Shutterstock.

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