Temu [NASDAQ:PDD] Super Bowl Commercial Controversy E-commerce Giant Temu’s Viral Super Bowl Commercial Stirs Debate on National Stage

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By Ronald Tech

E-commerce behemoth Temu made waves on Sunday, securing prime ad space during the Super Bowl LVIII. Splurging $7 million for a 30-second slot, Temu’s commercial sparked a maelstrom of both favorable and adversarial attention.

Unlike many brands airing varied Super Bowl commercials, Temu bucked the trend and showcased its singular ad repeatedly, vigorously vocals and all, during the high-profile event.

Temu, a segment under the umbrella of PDD Holdings Inc PDD, a Chinese e-commerce titan and owner of the Pinduoduo social commerce platform, entered the North American market in September 2022. Intriguingly, this wasn’t the app’s inaugural foray into Super Bowl advertising.

The tempestuous Temu ad implored consumers to adopt the app and “shop like a billionaire,” accompanied by the irresistible “ooh, ooh, Temu” refrain. However, Ad Age condemned the commercial post facto, naming it one of the most cringe-worthy spectacles of Super Bowl LVIII.

Criticism of the company, hailing from the Far East, isn’t novel. Fears surrounding data privacy and national security have hounded Temu. Notably, the appearance of its ad on such a grand platform drew the ire of elected officials, with Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and U.S. Representative Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) denouncing Temu’s presence during the big game.

Cammack lambasted the commercial, cautioning Americans about Temu’s alleged malfeasance while highlighting the glaring irony of a cyber protection commercial airing amidst the Temu blitz.

Despite the uproar, the airing of the Temu ad led to a surge in internet searches, according to Google Trends data. Additionally, post-Super Bowl, Temu ranked as the third most-downloaded free app on the Google Play Store, chasing only Paramount+ and TikTok, the platform President Joe Biden recently joined.

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Following last year’s Super Bowl, Modern Retail reported a significant spike in Temu’s downloads and daily active users. It notched a 20% surge in daily active users post-Super Bowl LVII compared to the day prior. Moreover, in February 2023, Temu witnessed robust app downloads edging past U.S. retail giant Target. Per Sensor Tower, Temu registered the most substantial growth in users and downloads on the day of Super Bowl LVII, boasting 13.4 million monthly active users in parts of February 2023.

Temu’s cheesy commercial, frowned upon by ad connoisseurs, may not perturb the company if it replicates the same success from last year’s event in terms of augmented downloads and user metrics.

Following the aftermath of the controversy, PDD Holdings’ shares ascended by 3% to $131.57 on Monday, scaling a 52-week range of $59.67 to $152.99, and accumulated a 37% surge in the last year.