The Super Bowl is among the most watched sporting events every year and 2012 was no different. In fact, nearly three times as many viewers tuned in to watch Super Bowl XLVI than to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. To advertisers with large wallets, the crowning event of the NFL season is a goldmine of potential customers. A 30 second commercial spot during this year’s Super Bowl will cost advertisers $4 million! For most entrepreneurs, that price tag doesn’t come close to fitting into their marketing budget. There is, however, an alternative to spending millions on one commercial yet still capitalize on the attention the Super Bowl draws each year.
While a commercial spot during the Super Bowl can potentially reach millions of viewers, another platform has no limit. Best of all, it’s free to use and it doesn’t have a 30 second to 2 minute limit on the ad. If properly executed, an advertising campaign ran on YouTube can go viral and reach a far greater audience than any Super Bowl ad. That’s the hard part. Then again, why would a marketer spend millions on making a boring Super Bowl commercial? Here are a couple tips to creating a viral alternative to a Super Bowl commercial.
Make your campaign entertaining. Rather than simply creating a run-of-the-mill “here is a product and this is what it does” commercial, formulate something that tells a story. Be creative and try to captivate an audience into sticking around and even sharing the video. A perfect example of creative entertainment is Volkswagen’s 2011 “The Force” commercial. But don’t forget to subtly include what you are actually selling.
Be sarcastic, witty, and funny. DollarShaveClub.com was able to create a viral campaign while still telling the traditional and clearly promotional product story-line. The campaign was instant hit because it seemed more like a Saturday Night Live “spoof” commercial than an actual advertisement. Entrepreneurs can learn from this by poking fun at their product or service while still showcasing the benefits of it.
So throw around some ideas with your friends and colleagues. Try to think outside the box and create something that your target audience would not only watch all the way through but then share with their social networks. You might find that simply relating your advertisement to the Super Bowl itself will attract viewers. If you aren’t the creative type and don’t have the budget to hire an ad agency, just sit back and look for inspiration during the big game on Sunday.