Wanted: $2.5 Million Super Bowl Spot -- For Free

Man Seeks Top Advertiser to Sponsor His Marriage Proposal on Big Game

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NEW YORK ( -- In a crowded field of high-production Super Bowl messages, one man is hoping his "Will you marry me?" stands out -- if he can finagle a way into the game. It could be one of the more memorable Super Bowl spots if the hopeful groom, who goes by the nickname J.P. to protect his identity and not blow the surprise, can find an advertiser to sponsor him.

An enterprising groom-to-be wants to turn his planned marriage proposal into a Super Bowl advertising event. | ALSO: Click the 'Weekly Poll' graphic to the right of this story to take part in a poll on this issue.

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Web marketing
The idea of proposing to his girlfriend through an ad on the biggest TV event of the year came to J.P. during the summer, and since September, he's been chronicling his quest on Inspired by Alex Tew, the 21-year-old Brit who sold a million pixels on his home page for $1 each, and Kyle MacDonald, who successfully traded up one red paper clip until he had a house, J.P. thought he'd try to raise the $2 million-plus needed to buy ad time.

He's at only $100,000, so he's all but ditched that plan, instead trying to find a marketer who will put him in an ad. (He's donating any money he raises to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., he said.)

Marketing consultant
J.P. has gotten help from search-marketing and internet consultant Joe Morin, ad-hoc business manager of the bid, who stumbled across J.P.'s site on the AdJab blog. He thought if he could help make it a reality, he could buy the rights to the response video, which would be available online, and sell product placement in it to promote a product-placement-meets-user-generated-video business he's launching. He's already spoken to three diamond retailers and two Las Vegas hotel groups about integration into the video.

But first they need to get the proposal on air. Mr. Morin said he's been in contact with CBS, which is airing the Super Bowl, and both AOL and Yahoo as potential underwriters. The video of the response, he said, could be a huge driver of traffic to the site that hosts it. Indeed, Akamai last year estimated traffic to Super Bowl-advertiser sites grew 93% from game day to the next day.

"An advertiser that steps forward could really benefit and show how they drive traffic from offline to online," Mr. Morin said.

Media promotion campaign
Driving interest in the quest will be the key to luring a major marketer to turn over part or all of its Super Bowl spot to J.P.'s proposal, Mr. Morin said. So far, J.P. has been interviewed on five radio stations and had a blurb in a recent issue of ESPN The Magazine. The duo is planning a report with "Inside Edition" (which is produced by CBS's King World) later this week.

Of course, as with any fashionable internet star, there's the question of whether J.P. is real or just another Lonelygirl15 -- a faux average Joe. Mr. Morin has met J.P. and claims he's real -- and, more importantly, marketable -- "an all-American, baseball-cap-wearing guy with a cute-as-a-button girlfriend," he said.
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