The Super Bowl is four months away, but ad planning is well underway. Time is also of the essence for brands looking to make a significant splash without buying a Big Game ad. That’s because with so many brands angling to seize on advertising’s biggest day of the year, successful Super Bowl “crashing” takes a lot more planning and resources than it used to.
Playing around the edges of the Super Bowl might not cost the $5 million to actually buy a spot, but doing it right can cost at least $1 million, when you add in Google search, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube advertising. That’s according to Steve Parker, CEO of Levelwing, a Charleston, S.C. shop that’s backed Super Bowl efforts for game advertisers (e.g. Bridgestone) and non-advertisers alike over the past 12 years.
Here’s how some successful Super Bowl crashers have pulled it off.
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“What we do every year is inspire brands to figure out what they want to do with the Super Bowl and innovate in terms of how they do it,” says Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble Co. chief brand officer. Often, that means spending big on in-game spots, like P&G did last year for Olay, which ran a big-budget spot horror-themed ad called “Killer Skin” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.
But the marketer is pleased with the results it got from other brands that capitalized on the game’s spotlight without shelling out millions for commercial time. That includes Pampers, which launched a “#StinkyBootyDuty” digital video during the game that celebrated the role dads play and generated 40 million online views in the first 24 hours and more than a billion earned impressions. Of course, the Pampers effort was hardly cheap. It featured celebrities John Legend, Chrissy Teigen and Adam Levine and was backed by paid social media.