Innovation in Superbowl marketing has taken a few new and interesting paths this year. With a 30-second TV commercial costing $4.5 million this year, you certainly can’t blame companies for trying something else. It is too tempting not to target the huge audience that the Superbowl generates. Only a few companies can afford the price tag of the standard 30-second spot. Even Coke is reducing its ad buy to just one. Go Daddy and P&G are down to one also. Anheuser Busch InBev is still going all out with seven 30-second ads but they are the only company with more than two.
You might remember some previous innovations. Fox invented the alternative Halftime show with an episode of In Living Color during the halftime show in 1992, timed specifically to start exactly when the first half ended and ending when the second half started. But of course on their own channel so they didn’t have to pay for it. There are also the (in)famous Lingerie Bowl (started in 2004 on pay per view) and the Puppy Bowl (started in 2005 on Animal Planet).
So what is drawing my attention this year? There are two. One is by Newcastle. The British brewer is crowdsourcing a commercial with 37 different companies all featured in a single ad. http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/newcastle-unveils-its-smorgasbord-super-bowl-ad-featuring-37-different-brands-162567. I am a fan of crowdsourcing in general (for example here in EID and here on this blog) but I also like the way they are trying to weave a single story that includes all of the brands in one couple’s home.
The second one is by YouTube. Instead of their usual halftime show, this year they are featuring their emerging cadre of stars. It will stream live during halftime. In the old days, they would have the official Superbowl halftime show available after the fact. But their stars are making serious waves in the entertainment broadcasting sector and they decided to leverage this new influence.
OK, so imagine you have a company that can’t afford a 30-second Superbowl ad but wants to target their audience. What would you do? Any other innovative ideas out there? Please share. Maybe we can all get together and crowdfund it.