five Marketing Alternatives to High-Priced Super Bowl Ads

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This year, CBS opened the bidding for any 30-second Super Bowl ad slot cost roughly $5. 6 million —  plus $300, 000 if manufacturers wanted their ads upon CBS’ Super Bowl reside stream.

And, although the price above is about the same as it was for 2020, it had taken until January for all associated with CBS’ slots to sell out.  

This isn’t surprising. Due to the ongoing global pandemic and times of monetary uncertainty, many big brands that used to rush to purchase ad slots are now aiming to avoid spending millions of dollars upon commercials that last just 30 seconds.

While $5. 6 million appears like a lot of money for just a slot, think about how much advertisers are usually spending on the additional costs associated with producing these commercials, usually known for having A-list talent, insane special effects, or even award-winning company directors.

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Three notable brands that won’t be airing Super Bowl ads on CBS this year are Budweiser, Pepsi, and Pepsi.  

While Budweiser will donate the Super Bowl budget to charity this year, Coke, which will also be donate some of the budget, opted out to conserve the advertising budget.  

“This difficult choice was designed to ensure we are investing in the suitable resources during these unprecedented occasions. We’ll be toasting to the fellow brands with an ice-cold Coke from the sidelines, ” read a statement Cola sent to CBS News.

Meanwhile, Pepsi Co. opted out associated with ad slots for Pepsi, in order to direct more spending budget to its sponsored halftime show.

But , this isn’t the first time major brands have opted out from the big game. In past years, a number of big businesses have spent their Extremely Bowl budget on all sorts of interesting alternatives.

Take Skittles for example. In 2018, Skittles decided they didn’t want to shell out millions of dollars on a Super Bowl ad. Instead, they will used the money to create a full-length Broadway musical.

What could the Skittles musical probably have been about? Well, it had been described as a musical industrial that discussed the insincere and high-priced world of advertising.

The musical has been never aired on TV or streaming services, but here’s a look at the musical’s main ballad, “Advertising Ruins Everything: ”

While what Skittles did was both innovative and clever, it was still pretty expensive. And, as a small to medium-sized company marketer, you likely can not afford a Super Bowl ad or a Broadway musical option just yet.

But , having a small budget doesn’t mean weight loss create a high-quality campaign or advertisement like the pros.

Beneath, I’ll list four typical advertising strategies that brand names use during the Super Bowl, or other major occasions, then walk you by means of how you can take advantage of each on the much smaller scale while still effectively gaining brand awareness.

5 Alternatives to Extremely Bowl Advertising

1 . Purchase video ad space on social platforms.

As a small business marketer, you don’t need to pay for the high-priced televised ad slot machine to get seen by the right audiences.

With the growth of online platforms and social media marketing networks, like YouTube, Fb, and Twitter, we’ve also seen the growth in opportunities for in-stream advertising. If you’re less familiar with this form of advertising, it allows you to submit a video-based advertisement to a service like YouTube or Facebook. Then, the particular ad will usually be seen because pre-roll or mid-roll inside longer videos.

Investing in on the internet on in-stream video ads might also be a better bet than investing in traditional tv commercials. Aside from the Super Bowl and other major televised activities, people are tuning in less and less to live television. Meanwhile, people are streaming video, surfing the internet, and logging into social media channels more than ever before.

Additionally , while Super Bowl or TV ads usually have one particular up-front cost, online ad placements have more flexible costs which can be higher or lower depending on how long they are, how long you’d like to circulate the ads, as well as the size or scope of your target audience. To put it plainly, while brands pay hundreds of thousands for just 30-seconds during the Extremely Bowl, ad platforms like Facebook or YouTube enable you to spend less while targeting audiences that are most likely to interact with your content.

Another benefit? While televised commercials require a consumer to remember and look the brand later, online ads often allow audiences to click on them directly whenever they’re interested in your product or offer. This instantly adds a greater chance of RETURN ON INVESTMENT and decreases friction involving the brand and the customer.

If you decide to take advantage of online video advertisements, you’ll want to drill down on your buyer persona before putting money behind an ad platform. Ask yourself questions such as, “Which social media platforms perform they use? “, or “What’s their gender and a long time? ” The answers to questions will help you determine which usually social media platforms you should operate ads on and which audience targets you should fixed for your ads.

After identifying your audience, you’ll also wish to create attention-grabbing content targeted specifically for your target purchasers.

On online platforms, you’ll often be able to purchase an ad slot between six seconds to one minute long. However , because the internet is really fast-paced, your audience’s interest span could be much less than your allotted time. For example , on average, Gen Z plus millennials will only pay attention to online content for eight to 12 seconds.

If you buy a more budget-friendly skippable ad placement, drawing attention will be an even more crucial strategy because uninterested viewers will press the “Skip Ad” key to watch the video they’ve searched as soon as they’re able to.

Here’s a excellent example of a pre-roll advertisement from the job search site Reed. co. uk. The particular ad immediately draws interest with a video of meowing kittens. Then it embraces its pre-roll placement by phoning out YouTube viewers for watching videos because these kinds of are “distracted from their job. ” At the end, Reed, the site’s founder, tells the viewer to click on the video, that will send them to the job web site:

As you create an ad, take a note from Reed. co. uk by ensuring that it draws attention immediately.

Don’t have a box of kittens like the ad over? Consider using other techniques to attract attention, such as presenting a relatable pain point, offering a value proposition, or even placing viewers into a good action-filled scene when the movie starts playing.

2 . Dive deeper into a video narrative.

Aside from traditional commercials that will establish a basic pain point and offer a simple product-based remedy, Super Bowl ads will also be known to have a unique story or feel like miniature movies.

Here’s one historic Extremely Bowl example that rests in the Clio Hall of Fame. During its 1984 ad spot, Apple announced the Macintosh with a commercial themed around the George Orwell novel, “1984. ”

The particular novel, written in 1948, told the story of a dystopian society where all people implemented one leader, dressed exactly the same and conformed to the exact same ideologies.

The Apple commercial stays in line with the George Orwell classic as it begins along with thousands of men walking in the lined formation as they get into an auditorium where an all-powerful leader preaches about their society on a large screen. The ad’s narrative gets interesting when a woman in colorful clothing suddenly runs into the room and hurls a hammer into the excellent leader’s screen, figuratively wiping out the bland conformist culture.

At the end of the commercial, the narrator announces, “On The month of january 20th, 1984, Apple will certainly introduce the Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984. ”

Why was your Apple ad so amazing and iconic? At the time, Apple company was considered a young troublesome underdog company while the PC world was monopolized simply by IBM — a much more traditional big corporation. This commercial is a deep metaphor for how Apple’s brand, revolutionary products, and mission would certainly free computer users from the monopolies of past tech leaders.

Yes, Apple did convey more resources than the average start-up when producing this advertisement. In fact , it was directed simply by Ridley Scott — reputed for his work on award-winning movies like Alien and The Martian.

But , on a smaller range, all it takes to create a good attention-grabbing narrative ad is one or two creative team members and affordable video equipment.

Additionally , commercials that tell a great story don’t always have to discuss a deeply or intense topic, like Apple’s. Alternatively, they can become quick and funny stories.

This smaller-scale example through Bernie & Phyl’s Furnishings simply tells the story of a bulldog getting behind at his office job. The storyline encourages people to save money money on crucial things, like job candidates, whilst still saving money on furniture at the store chain:

Interested in crafting a convincing advertisement script? Check out this template. If you have a great idea yet aren’t sure where to start production-wise, read this step-by-step manual.

3. Leverage major occasions or holidays.

Whenever there’s a major event, like the Super Bowl, big brands jump to create campaigns that power trends related to it. This is because people who are interested in the event might also enjoy the content or ads that discuss it.

Even though big brands air commercials during major events, you can instead create campaigns which make pop culture or event references. These could consist of blog posts about how an event relates to your industry, a social networking post that leverages topical hashtags, or a marketing video about how your customers might be partying an event.

Here’s an example where the energy drink brand G-Fuel asks Twitter users to reply to their tweet with who they think will win the 2020 “#SuperBowl. ” In the tweet, they will include an image of 2 G-Fuel drinks in front of a football field:

G-Fuel Super Bowl Tweet

This really is smart because those who are thinking about the Super Bowl may click the #SuperBowl hashtag or even search the topic and find this post. Although it doesn’t directly promote the drink and doesn’t have an endorsement from the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, the post still utilizes the trend and enables Extremely Bowl fans to learn more about the sporty energy drink.

However , while leveraging a holiday and social media trends might seem like low-hanging fruit, you should keep in mind that each event has particular legalities around it.

For example , the NFL has trademarked the term Super Bowl and allow brands to say the big event name in content with commercial intent. So , if G-Fuel were to promote its drinks as “official Super Dish beverages, ” it would infringe upon this trademark. However , by showing a picture of the product in front of a soccer field and simply asking enthusiasts about their thoughts on the actual game, they aren’t saying their product is in any way endorsed by the NFL.

To avoid any more blurred lines when referencing the Super Bowl within a paid ad or commercial, brands usually call it, “the big game” or “the football game, ” instead.

4. Lean into co-marketing.

Sometimes, even for large brands, it’s more budget-friendly and engaging to create a co-marketed Super Bowl ad. With this particular strategy, two or more brands place money, time, effort, or resources into creating a mutual piece of content that intelligently highlights all brands involved.

Here’s a great example of a 2015 ad where Newcastle pooled its money with 37 other brands to get a Super Bowl ad slot that mentions all the businesses at some point. The ad had been appropriately titled, “Band of Brands: ”

The illustration above is one of the most crazy examples of co-marketing, but this is a strategy that is incredibly scaleable to small businesses and has already been used as a tactic for ages.

Below is an example of how Louis Vuitton and BMW joined forces as luxury traveling and transportation product providers by launching a series of ads that show their modern, black products together. The campaign was titled, “The Art of Travel. ”

The co-branding example above works well because it features two companies that complement each other instead of competing against each other. Their own audiences, which are made up of upper-class professionals, also mesh properly together and will engage likewise with this type of promotion.

five. Consider influencer marketing.

Apart from high-budget productions and fascinating storylines, Super Bowl advertisements are also known for their star-studded casts. Remember this Amazon Echo commercial where Alexa is voiced by a handful of popular celebrities?

Although you probably can’t hire stars such as Cardi B, you might be capable of budget content from a micro-influencer who’s heavily followed or even considered credible in your industry.

When you sponsor an influencer that really understands their market and your industry, they’ll create and publish content that intrigues their audience while also highlighting your product.

Influencer marketing is similar to co-branding. But , instead of increasing the chances of two branded audiences studying both companies featured in one piece of content, influencer marketing enables the influencer’s market to learn about your product while your audience may learn more about the influencer.

A good influencer marketing strategy can also be specifically effective on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok.

In this instance, the smartphone game “Run Around” sponsored a TikTok user who’s gained over 15, 000 followers merely by recording herself playing cellular games.

In the effective TikTok example above, the brand name identified that gaming-oriented audiences were on TikTok plus sponsored an influencer who is audience anticipates her cellular gaming reviews and demonstrations.

Creating a (Somewhat) Super Bowl-Quality Ad

As you work towards developing a quality ad on a budget, maintain these scaleable big brand name tips in mind:

  • Tell an excellent story. Draw your viewers in, allow them to relate to your brand, and hook them simply by presenting how your item can help them.
  • Embrace current events: Craft campaigns that contact on highly-discussed on stylish events, such as the Super Bowl, award shows, or vacations — especially if they connect strongly to your brand.
  • Leverage brands and influencers: Partnering along with brands and influencers enables your product or firm to get attention from comparable audiences that you haven’t already reached. To get started, research and build relationships with brand names and influencers that your viewers or industries look to just for credible tips.

Want to see more effective big brand campaign strategies that you can learn from? Check out this post where we reveal our favorite Super Bowl ads of all time.  

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published within February 2020, but was updated in 2021 for comprehensiveness and freshness.  

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