YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) -- Add Samsung to the list of marketers turning to consumers for their Super Bowl ads. The electronics maker and official HDTV of the NFL asked fans to send in their best football stories, with the promise that the winner would be turned into a pre-game TV ad.
The finalists voted on by web users ranged from a rabid New York Jets fan who made his wife sign a noncompete agreement to a senior citizen who used to work in the parking lot at RFK Stadium. But the winner, with more than 1 million votes, was Dallas Cowboys fan Reginald Castilla, who as a kid would hide a black-and-white TV in the trunk of his parents' car. They were both deacons at church, and he joined the "usher boys" so he could sneak in and out of church on Sundays to check in on the Cowboys' games.
The ad contest, tagged "That's how I see it," riffs on Samsung's marketing effort of the same name, which launched in the fall.
The first wave of four ads, created by Samsung agency Leo Burnett Worldwide, Chicago, has been running since September. The spots feature fictitious families with over-the-top or wacky stories about watching NFL football.
Samsung found its "real-life" candidates by going on a mobile marketing tour to eight NFL cities and filming more than 400 stories, which were whittled down to 48 for website visitors to vote on. Mr. Castilla will not be in the ad but was on set when it was shot by NFL Films, with NFL agency BBDO, New York, consulting.
"All of the stories that were pitched and voted on throughout the contest exemplify the passion fans have for the NFL and their teams," said Tim Baxter, exec VP-sales and marketing, Samsung Electronics America, in a press release.
The Super Bowl is a natural fit for Samsung. Not only has the company been an NFL sponsor since 2005, but much of its marketing for high-definition TVs revolves around football, and watching games in big-screen glory. In past print and TV ads, Samsung has used well-known NFL athletes including Dan Marino, Troy Aikman, Steve Young and Boomer Esiason.