The Super Bowl is like no other annual televised sports event. It's a phenomena that is talked about endlessly long before the event and almost as long after the event.
Covered as much as the Super Bowl itself are the (sometimes) incredible ads and what companies decide to do (and spend) to promote their brand. Last year, the cost for a 30-second commercial was a reported $4 million while this year is $4.5 million, a 12.5 percent increase, costing $150,000 per second of air time.
So, is it possible to create a buzzworthy commercial that's Super Bowl-driven without dropping $4.5 million for 30 seconds of air time?
Many moons ago I helped create just such an ad. I was working at a small suburban Philly ad agency and our biggest client was a local homebuilder who wanted to a seat at the Super Bowl advertising party but could not afford the reservation.
What they could afford, however, was a seat at the "kids table" a.k.a. a localized media buy whereby their spot would run during the Super Bowl but only appear on local markets.
You can watch this spot here, which ran during the 2006 Super Bowl.
Oreo Did It. Why Can't You?
One of the most famous and talked about promotions in Super Bowl history was during the famous 2013 blackout when Oreo tweeted "You can still dunk in the dark" garnering well over 15,000 tweets and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook with endless media coverage.
In total, it garnered a reported 525 million impressions. Not bad for no media buy for that single tweet...
Tapping Into the Cultural Dialog to Score
So, I approached my friend and branding expert David Brier about such a branding opportunity.
Ironically enough, he was recently asked to tackle such an objective for Mega! Co-op, a Midwest consumer cooperative with a member base of 71,000.
"When the concept was first raised, it was a daunting task that any company would desire since Oreo nailed it so perfectly," he told me.
Knowing there's incredible build up around the Super Bowl game and brand, I looked and sought out any opportunity or trend I could tap into -− something we could tackle successfully (pun intended). I had to approach this with a very guerrilla marketing attitude.
Then inspiration came to him.
Suddenly it hit me: Deflate Gate from the last game played by the Patriots. Since millions of consumers and news networks have already been spinning this aspect of the game, why not ride that awareness to my client's front door? Ever since the Patriots won, that's gotten more coverage than the game itself have been the deflated footballs that began an investigation and great controversy.
That formed the idea and basis for this spot which Brier conceived, wrote and directed.
Designed for use on TV, YouTube and other channels, the spot speaks for itself, showing how any brand, regardless of size or location, can turn media lemons into spiked lemonade with a twist, something any brand can celebrate over.
And since it will air all week, it will play into the media frenzy that everyone is already covering.
So what do you think? Can a small brand latch onto the Super Bowl frenzy and capitalize on it without breaking the proverbial bank?
And as Oreo highlighted, it's not always the smaller brands who can benefit from the Super Bowl craze without spending much money, or in Oreo's case no money for a media buy.