Around this time each year, the viewing public gears up for an epic competition of professional powerhouses operating at the top of their respective games. Legends are made, accolades given and dynasties rise and fall through the glory of one night.

Oh, and there's a football game as well!

We kid of course, but it's true that the big game has become as important to the world of advertising as it is to the world of sports. Fans huddle during commercial breaks, eager to see which spots will become conversation pieces both on Monday and well into 2013. To make it easier to catch up on all the commercials, the YouTube Ad Blitz channel will let you watch your favorite ads soon as they air live on TV and vote for your favorite ad at the end of the game.


To make this year bigger than ever, we've partnered with ADWEEK to feature the Ad Blitz voting gallery on as well as on YouTube, and ADWEEK’s executive editor James Cooper and senior editor Tim Nudd will break down the night’s highlights via a post-game Google+ hangout. We also added a slew of new social and gaming components to make the Ad Blitz YouTube channel the perfect big game companion whether you’re on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. New features include:

  • Touchdown dance GIF generator: Create and share your own touchdown dance GIF
  • Smack Talk: Log in to all your social media channels from the channel to share your team spirit with friends and see a real-time visualization of which team is winning the internet (if not the actual game)
  • Paper Football: Test your accuracy in this age old finger flick game
  • Call the Coach: Get instant advertising advice from our resident ad coach, DeStorm
  • Fun Facts: Learn interesting facts about big game advertising, provided by ADWEEK

As seen in last year's viral spots from Volkswagen, Honda, Audi and many others, savvy advertisers are using YouTube to not only generate excitement for their big game plans, but to dramatically bolster the effectiveness of their game-day spend. With new ad innovations to the Ad Blitz program this year, such as Lightbox ads, marketers can now extend their video presence across the web.

As always, voting begins at the end of the game and continues until February 11. So after the broadcast, be sure to vote on your favorite ads from the big game!

Sue McCauley, Ad Blitz Program Manager, recently watched "Road To The Superdome: 49ers"

Congratulations to Elise Strachan, the master chef for this month’s "On The Rise” featured partner channel, MyCupcakeAddiction. Not only is her channel the first featured in 2013, but it’s also the first Australian channel we’ve featured in the program, and Elise was recently appointed as one of the 15 Next How-To Gurus! MyCupcakeAddiction hosts tutorials on how to decorate and make cupcakes, cake pops and other sweet treats, and is in the spotlight on YouTube’s own channel today. Check it out to see some of Elise’s delicious creations!

Elise’s kitchen is based in Queensland, Australia, where she’s been cooking up sweet treats for several years. She often bakes for private events and weddings, on top of selling her cupcakes at a local market twice a week. In October 2011, she decided to expand beyond her Gold Coast clientele by producing videos on YouTube to inspire bakers worldwide. Now, no matter where you live, you can find do-it-yourself tips and tutorials for fun creations like Elise’s Angry Birds cake pops, stiletto heel cupcakes, or even a giant cupcake pinata!

Here are a few words from Elise:
This is an exciting accolade for our little channel, and a huge thank you goes out to the best subscribers in the world for your votes and support throughout voting week. We aim to provide high quality, step-by-step instructional videos showing you how to create the weird and wonderful out of cupcakes and cakepops. MyCupcakeAddiction has something sweet and stunning for any occasion. Make sure you head over to our channel to catch all the latest uploads: now bringing you 3 new tutorials each week! 

If you’ve enjoyed this monthly On The Rise blog series, and want to see more rising YouTube partners, check out our Google Hangouts with past featured partners on the Partner Support channel.

You can participate and help us surface YouTube talent by nominating a YouTube partner to be considered for the “On The Rise” program. Feel free to submit nominations for your own channel, or for channels you follow that you think deserve more attention or could be the next YouTube sensation. We’ll continue to feature promising partners who have fewer than 100,000 subscribers and produce engaging content on a regular basis. See you next month!

Christine Wang and Devon Storbeck, YouTube Partner Support, recently watched “Mission Impossible- Lindsey Stirling and the Piano Guys.”

You don’t need to text with "Hillz" to know that she’s truly a 21st century diplomat. As the most traveled secretary of state in U.S. history, she’s been to 112 countries and traveled almost one million miles over the last four years. So how is the world’s busiest diplomat spending one of her last days on the job? On YouTube, of course.

Tomorrow at 9:30 am ET, YouTube will live stream the Secretary's Global Townterview (think: town hall meets interview) from the Newseum in Washington, DC. She’ll answer questions from youth in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America and is taking questions via social media as well (find details here).

Tune in to the Department of State’s channel to hear about Secretary Clinton’s global adventures during her last week as secretary of state. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get a few tips on mastering jet lag, too. 

Chelsea Maughan, Communications Manager, recently watched “A Pep Talk from Kid President to You

It’s that time of year, film buffs! The 2013 Sundance Film Festival kicks off this weekend, celebrating innovation in independent cinema and introducing creative talent to the world.

Can’t make it to the festival? In The Screening Room, a YouTube channel curated by Sundance Institute and dedicated to showcasing ambitious and entertaining short films, you can watch 12 short films debuting at Sundance right now. These films were selected from the 64 shorts showing at the festival, out of more than 8,100 submissions this year.

Sundance is known for its diverse range of films, and with everything from trippy cats and zombies to a rooster king and an ambitious rodeo cowboy, The Screening Room shorts are no exception. When the festival ends, Sundance Institute will continue to curate The Screening Room, highlighting cutting edge short films from past Sundance filmmakers and the film festival circuit each week.

Lucky enough to be in Park City? We’re here too, presenting the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Shorts Program, where we’ll introduce original content from select YouTube channels to the audience at each screening.

At YouTube, we're proud to show our support and admiration for independent creators through our partnership with Sundance, and we hope you enjoy all the exciting new short form content that is uploaded to our platform every day.

Happy viewing!

Raymond Braun, YouTube Entertainment Marketing, recently watched "Broken Night" in The Screening Room

You don’t have to be an American football fan to know that the Big Game is almost here. It’s one of the biggest sports moments of the year, and we’re doing our bit to share the authentic Big Game experience, with the Ad Blitz Pre-Game program.
All those recipes for hot wings, multi-layer dips and things-wrapped-in-bacon that you’ve been searching for? The Ad Blitz Pre-Game channel has them all in one place with videos on party recipes and ideas. We’ve also curated playoff coverage and predictions for the Big Game, so you can sound like an expert. There’s even a video on how to freeze a six-pack in under three minutes, in case you’re stuck with warm drinks at kick-off time.

Ad Blitz Pre-Game is presented by Tide, and features sports content from channels like FOX Sports and Bleacher Report, plus great food suggestions from party-planning experts like Howcast and FoodWishes. The Pre-Game runs through February 2, after that you’ll be able to watch and vote on your favorite game commercials on the same Ad Blitz channel.

Whether you’re really invested in the outcome of the game, or even more excited about all the snacks, we hope you’ll have something to cheer about.

Leena El-Omar, YouTube sports program manager, recently watched “How to Make a Fried Onion Blossom.”

In our monthly On The Rise program, we identify four partners whose channels are seeing significant growth but haven’t yet reached the 100,000 subscriber mark. This month, with your help, we’re excited to introduce you to four popular and promising partners so you can help them grow their audience and channels.

Our January nominees include a filmmaker, a cupcake artist, a vlogger, and a singer-songwriter, and you can help jumpstart their YouTube careers. Review their videos below, vote for your favorite here, and one of these candidates will have the opportunity to be featured across YouTube later this month. In addition to your votes, each channel will be evaluated on criteria such as viewer engagement and channel optimization techniques to decide which partner we’ll feature.

In past months, featured On The Rise partners like RichardGaleFilms and polcan99 have gained many subscribers and seen their careers take off, in large part due to your support. This month’s poll will be open until January 18, 5pm PT, so don’t forget to vote for your favorite channel. Check back to see which channel will be featured on January 30.

Scott believes anyone can be a filmmaker if they have the ambition, and he’s spent several years demonstrating tips and tricks for how to make films on a strict budget and without top-of-the-line equipment. Check out his videos for low-cost DIY equipment ideas, Q&As and behind-the-scenes tutorials that support his philosophy, “it’s about technique, not the gear.”

You don’t have to have spent years in the kitchen in order to create professional-looking cupcakes or cake pops - and you don’t even have to travel to the Gold Coast to try them! Australian baker extraordinaire Elise will teach you how to make your own sweet treats with her step-by-step instructional videos.

Tris of TristopiaTV is a British vlogger who shares his thoughts and comments on a wide range of topics on his weekly vlog show, T-Time. Check out his channel to listen to his views from everything from the nationwide fascination with tea to the world ending.

A self-described “musician and hopeless romantic,” Tom hails from London and shares original music and covers of some popular songs with his audience via his channel. He writes and composes his own music for songs like “Pavement Sleeper” and puts his own spin on works from Bob Marley and Lana Del Ray to name a few.

If you’re interested in participating or have suggestions for partners you think should be featured, you can nominate a YouTube partner to be considered for the “On The Rise” program.

Devon Storbeck and Christine Wang, YouTube Partner Support, recently watched “WORLDS BEST SIGN FLIPPER.”

We bet you a billion views you can find your way around YouTube faster on your mobile device than on your TV. That’s why we launched a feature making it easy to send videos from your mobile to your TV with just one button.

This year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we’re bringing that mobile/TV pairing feature to devices from our friends including Bang & Olufsen, LG, Panasonic and Sony. In 2013, you’ll see this feature come to even more devices like those from Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Western Digital and others.

These new devices will also have the latest look and feel for YouTube on TV, letting you watch HD videos and channels on the big screen with everyone at home. Catch the latest videos from your subscriptions, watch playlists full of 1080p videos and find the next great video faster with search suggestions.

Whether you’re at CES or at home, you can now watch YouTube on 400 million devices: from tablets to TVs, smartphones to streaming boxes, and consoles to cable providers. When you sign in and subscribe on any of these devices, you’ll always have something great to watch next.

Francisco Varela, global director, platform partnerships, recently watched “Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome : "Episode 1".”