On Sunday, February 2, a projected 181 million Americans will be glued to televisions in homes and sports bars throughout the country to watch Super Bowl XLVIII.
Trying to turn those 360 million eyes into dollar signs, major corporations will spend about $4 million for 30 seconds of air time ($8 million for one full minute) to try to sell the viewers something.
According to Forbes, that's money well spent... as long as the commercial is entertaining and "catchy." With an additional average $1 million production cost, that spot better make its point quickly and colorfully. Usually they do, with car, food, and beer producers out-doing each other in an attempt for their commercial to go viral. It's for that reason that many commercials (or teasers) are "leaked" on YouTube or Twitter way before the game.
This week, king of beers, Budweiser, pre-released Puppy Love, the story of a chubby, cuddly baby Labrador retriever who falls in love with a Clydesdale horse. The video has been viewed over 25 million times on YouTube in just a few short days. If you haven't seen it, it's got a better story line (and is more tear-worthy) than Titanic. Plus, the puppy is even more adorable than a young Leo DiCaprio.
No offense to puppies, but the best commercial to come out of this year's big game won't actually be shown on February 2. Newcastle Brown Ale has produced a brilliant video that shows us just how amazing and innovative their Super Bowl commercial would have been (had they actually made one, that is).
Entitled, The Mega Huge Football Game Ad Newcastle Could've Made, the short film tells us that the commercial would have contained party sharks; evil, hyper-intelligent apes; a giant robot (real, not CGI); cats (or teacup pigs) on skateboards; and Anna Kendrick wearing only body paint!
The whole concept of this non-commercial is a brilliant, fully-formed vision, complete with a follow-up of Kendrick grousing about how she agreed to do a Super Bowl commercial for Newcastle Ale "because indie films don't stuff the g-strings of male strippers," but got screwed out of her big paycheck when filming was cancelled.
And there was a focus group, so you know these guys were totally, completely, 100-percent serious about the cats on skateboards. (Or was it teacup pigs?)
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It's viral marketing at its most sophisticated form. So what if only 8,000 people have viewed it on YouTube, so far? Newcastle may not tug on the heartstrings like Budweiser, but for laughs (and a better beer), we'll go with the brown ale.