How to Avoid Spending a Million Dollars a Minute


In 1984, Apple ran its historic “1984” television commercial during Super Bowl. The ad was :60 seconds and cost over $700,000 for the tv time alone. What about Cure Auto Insurance’s :15 second, $2,000,000, “Call an Audible” spot? You don’t recall? You don’t even know who Cure Auto Insurance is?

While Apple’s commercial may well be the most successful and memorable ad in Super Bowl history, there have been a lot of Super Bowl commercials over the last 31 years that have gone by the wayside with little fanfare. And now in 2015 taking a shot on a one minute Super Bowl spot costs roughly $9 million. Again, that’s just for the air time, and doesn’t account for concept and production costs.

Let’s say your brand was considering a :60 second TV spot during the big game, or the Final Four, or the Grammy’s. And let’s say that the network liked you so much that they gave you a massive discount so that you only had to pay $1 million. Heck, let’s go ahead and say that the concept and production was free too. You’re on a roll. And so you’re only looking at $1 million for those precious :60. seconds What a deal, right?

Well technically, yes, it would be a great deal. But let’s take a step back and see what else you could do with that cool million in terms of creating lasting impression with your audience. Because let’s face it, IF your audience is paying attention to your commercial, and IF the ad is clever enough, once the commercial is over, most people won’t remember it beyond the water cooler at work the next day. There goes a million bucks.

There is another way to use that advertising budget, however. A way that will directly touch thousands of your constituents so that they remember, and even talk about the experience with their friends. Transforming passive viewers to brand advocates.

Over 130,000 at SXSW, 175,000 at the Arnold Fitness Expo, 300,000 at Lollapalooza. And those are just singular events. Imagine taking to the road and turning those valuable physical interactions into exponential buzz about your brand, working with Hyundai touring college football games across the country garnered 1.7 million social media impressions.

Highly targeted, highly measurable, and highly adaptable, experiential experiences do just that.

We know. We routinely do it for brands and see the result first-hand. Live engagement matters to people. And the better the experience, the more people talk about it and share it with others. Great experiential marketing captures and holds attention and creates brand ambassadors who do the advertising for you.

And the cost is a fraction of what it would take to run an ad during the Super Bowl. Experiential lingers, and is a great supplement for traditional media buys.

Whether you’re considering running a TV ad in the big game or not, give us a call and let’s talk about how to get your audience talking about you.