When it comes to marketing in the U.S., no other event quite compares to the Super Bowl, one of the few true mass-market blowouts. For three hours, marketers have access to more than 90 million people gathered around their TVs. The crowd spans all age groups, all races and both genders. Even better? A substantial number of those tuning in do so primarily to watch the commercials ("American Idol" can't make that claim). And this year's game offers up two bonus plotlines. After struggling (or "choking," depending on your allegiances) for years, Peyton "The Face of the NFL" Manning has made it to the big game. And, more important, two black coaches will face off against each other.
So why, then, are some of the marketers who've made it into the game playing more like Johnny Unitas than Joe Namath? After spending $2.6 million for a TV spot that will be seen by millions, now is not the time to keep your head down and your mouth shut and focus solely on game day. Sure, your stockholders may be a bit upset with the marketing outlay, and creative expectations are extraordinarily high. But you've already spent the money, so you'd best make it count.
Companies building up to the moment unashamedly have it right. GoDaddy, in particular, seems to be donning Broadway Joe's white shoes and doing anything to draw attention to itself. And while we in the media-saturated industry might be a wee bit sick of hearing from such companies, the fact is the wider population seems to enjoy this part of the show as well. This is the one time of the year they're clamoring to see your commercials-why not let them have it? Drum up your spots on your websites. Get all the PR mileage out this that you can. Let the fans play along. (Those, incidentally, are good skills to have for the future.)
No, you won't get a trophy at the end of the day. But even in an age of fragmented media and emphasis on ROI, word-of-mouth and recall are still worth bragging about.