Brands Tie-in to Game but Skip Super Price Tag

As Super Bowl 50 approaches, the conversation is just as much about the infamous Super Bowl commercials as it is about the teams contending for the championship title.

This year, advertisers will pay an average of $5 million for a 30-second spot during the game. Given that more than 110 million people watched the contest in 2015, is that hefty price tag worth it? Quite a few brands think so. Heinz released its game day ad a week early, and it received a positive reaction from viewers.

T-Mobile launched its Super Bowl ad without the popular hashtag #BigGame

T-Mobile launched its Super Bowl ad without the popular hashtag #BigGame

While many advertisers will gladly drop a few million dollars for a chance to make football fans laugh or even cry, many brands have been advertising the game via other channels, such as social media. However, this type of promotion is limited due to yet another steep charge for using the trademarked terms “Super Bowl” and “Super Sunday.” Companies have been alluding to the Super Bowl by using the terms “big game” and “game day,” assuming that most followers will know about the game in question. The tweet on the left, from T Mobile, launches the company’s game day ad without mention of the words “Super Bowl.”

An iconic example of a brand attaching itself to the Super Bowl hype is Oreo. In 2013, the cookie’s Twitter account tweeted a photo in response to the power outage during the game. The tweet was a massive hit, and yet it did not include any explicit reference to football or the Super Bowl.

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This tweet from Oreo during the 2013 Super Bowl shows how a brand can latch onto the game’s hype without the ad cost.

What do you think about brands promoting themselves via association with the Super Bowl but without using those specific words? Should CBS lower the price of ad space for the Super Bowl or is the hefty price tag warranted?

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