How Brands Can Win the Super Bowl Without Breaking the Bank

You don't have to pay $4.5M to get attention

This year, more and more brands have realized that you don’t necessarily need to spend $4.5 million on Super Bowl ad time to get press coverage…you just have to produce some decent content and figure out unusual ways to promote it. It’s the new paid/earned media model.

The most prominent example so far would be The Verge, which managed to score a whole lot of attention for only $700. Here’s their ad, which went live and disappeared before our sister site Fishbowl NY got the site to admit that it was real:

First-ever Super Bowl spot by a “new media” company? That’s news, even if it’s only viewed live by a few dozen people in Montana.

The site’s PR team told us that “When it published, everyone assumed it was a national $4 million buy, and that idea really took on a life of its own.” We choose to believe they planned it that way…

Here’s another example from this week: a brand called EAT24, best known as a Seamless competitor, pitched this “regional ad” to our sister site AgencySpy. They didn’t give us any details on which “select markets” would see the ad during the game or how much they paid for the placement, but they promised us Snoop Dogg and Gilbert Gottfried, so how could we resist?

Here’s yet another online-only ad launched by Nutri Ninja and promoted via pitches to outlets like Adweek (shout out!) as well as the celebrity of Patriots wide receiver/YouTube influencer Julian Edelman, who has 10,000 subscribers:

In what may be the oddest such move, an ad agency based in Tel Aviv promoted its Israeli tourism client by targeting an ad to the people of North Platte, Nebraska. It’s main point? Israelis know nothing about football, but they think Nebraskans would enjoy vacationing in Tel Aviv:

We’re not sure how well this one will work, but given the fact that the client only spent a few hundred dollars the effort was almost certainly worth it.

To us, these ads demonstrate the importance of good PR promoting branded content: it’s the new way of creating headlines on the cheap.

And we haven’t even started on the social media campaigns…

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: January 30, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT