February 5, 2014

Advertisements Off The Field, Breaking Down The Big Game

Like every other red blooded American I was at a party this past Sunday to watch the big game with my nearest and dearest. We stuffed our bellies with wings, pizza, and chili dip while we all put our initials in squares hoping that this would be the year we get our lucky numbers and win the pot made up of our friends money. And of course, we couldn’t wait for the much anticipated commercials.

I think it was what happened off of the “official” playing field that was more impact-ful than some of the advertisements we saw during the game.

Anna Kendrick’s Newcastle Ad

Newcastle did not purchase airtime at the steep price tag of $4 million dollars. Instead they released this video that very quickly went viral before the big game and got people talking about the brand.

JCPenney Tweeting With Mittens

During the game I glanced at my Twitter feed and noticed that it appeared that JCPenney’s account was hacked. I wondered was one of their interns unknowingly drunkenly tweeting from the corporate account? What would happen to this poor soul Monday morning after realizing their erroneous error?

JCPenney Tweets With Mittens

It was revealed in the last hour of the game that JCPenney was “Tweeting With Mittens” to promote their Team USA gloves in time for this week’s Olympics

JCPenney Tweets With Mittens2

Essurance #EssuranceSave30

Essurance also didn’t pay the $4 million price tag but managed to get more people tweeting about them than any other brand by purchasing the very first slot after the game ended, a slot in which many people have already turned off their televisions. But they chose that time slot to announce that the money they saved with the “sub-par” time slot would be given to one lucky winner and to enter the contest, all one needed to do was mention #EssuranceSave30 in their tweet. As of early Monday, Esurance says, 2.391 million tweets with the hashtag had appeared.


This year, advertisers really stepped up their game to get people talking about their brand.

The traditional idea of an ad during the Big Game would naturally seem like the most direct path to advertising success.  With careful planning, however, brands are making a huge impact without shelling out the $4 million for 30 seconds of airtime. That’s smart marketing.

What changes to fundamental assumptions could lead your company to smarter marketing? Drop us a line in the comments.


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