The Weeknd spent $7 million of his own money to make the Super Bowl 55 halftime show “what he envisioned.”
The Toronto native just wrapped up one of the best years in music industry history.
His “Blinding Lights” single was the No. 1 radio song of 2020 with 3 billion impressions and has spent a record-setting 47 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
Despite the commercial success, the singer did not receive any Grammy nominations. “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency,” he tweeted at the time.
His Super Bowl audience will far exceed the Grammys. Last year’s Fox broadcast of the Super Bowl halftime show attracted about 103 million viewers, more than five times that of the 2020 Grammys.
Halftime shows have previously been valued around $13 million. With only about 22,000 fans watching in-person this year, The Weeknd wanted to make the show more of a “cinematic experience.”
PepsiCo replaced its traditional Super Bowl ad slot this year with a massive lead-in campaign to the halftime show, which it has sponsored for 10 years.
“I do think though consumers now are really looking for optimism and kind of a bit of escapism,” Pepsi VP of Marketing Todd Kaplan told CNBC. “We’re really going to take the experience from 12 minutes into six weeks,” he added about The Weeknd’s campaign.