5 Marketing Alternatives to High-Priced Super Bowl Ads [+How Brands Pivoted This Year]

This yr, CBS opened the bidding for a 30-second Tremendous Bowl advert slot value roughly $5.6 million — plus $300,000 if manufacturers wished their adverts on CBS’ Tremendous Bowl dwell stream.

And, though the value above is about the same as it was for 2020, it took till January for all of CBS’ slots to sell out.

This yr’s sluggish ad-buying is not stunning. Because of the ongoing world pandemic and occasions of economic uncertainty, many large manufacturers that used to hurry to purchase advert slots are actually making an attempt to keep away from spending tens of millions of {dollars} on commercials that final solely 30 seconds.

Whereas $5.6 million looks as if some huge cash for only a slot, take into consideration how a lot advertisers are spending on the extra prices of manufacturing these commercials, typically identified for having A-list expertise, loopy particular results, and even award-winning administrators.

Download Now: Free Ad Campaign Planning Kit

Three notable manufacturers that will not be airing Tremendous Bowl adverts on CBS this yr are Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi

While Pepsi Co. opted out of ad slots to direct extra funds to its sponsored halftime present, the 2 different manufacturers took present occasions and the present monetary local weather into consideration.

For instance, Budweiser will donate its Super Bowl commercial budget to charity this yr, Coke, which can even be donate some funds to charity, opted out to preserve its funds. 

“This troublesome selection was made to make sure we’re investing in the precise sources throughout these unprecedented occasions. We’ll be toasting to our fellow manufacturers with an ice-cold Coke from the sidelines,” learn an announcement Coke sent to CBS News.

Whereas a Tremendous Bowl advert can clearly present main visibility to tens of millions of viewers, this yr’s shifts present that an organization does not essentially must pay $5 million to realize consciousness. 

Under, I am going to stroll by way of a couple of examples of what large manufacturers that opted out of Tremendous Bowl adverts did to market their model as a substitute. Then I am going to clarify how you should use widespread Tremendous Bowl-season advertising methods affordably in your personal campaigns.

What 4 Large Manufacturers Did As an alternative of Shopping for Tremendous Bowl Advertisements


Whereas Bud Mild Seltzer’s Tremendous Bowl industrial tackles the “lemons” of 2020, Budweiser opted out of an advert for its flagship beer. 

As an alternative the model determined to launch a Twitter marketing campaign the place a video that includes its mascot — the Clydesdale — can be tweeted throughout every industrial break.

This can be a nice instance of how a model can leverage the Tremendous Bowl industrial break with out truly having an advert in it. Whereas tens of millions are glued to Tremendous Bowl adverts, additionally they scroll by way of Twitter or social media feeds for dwell recreation protection. Whereas doing so, they could uncover Budweiser’s marketing campaign.

Avocados from Mexico

Whereas Avocados from Mexico aired a couple of Tremendous Bowl adverts prior to now, this yr, they’ve embraced the #GuacBowl as a substitute.

As a result of guacamole is a well-liked soccer snack made with avocados and a few sports activities viewers are lacking the thrill of being in a stadium, Avocados from Mexico created a digital sports activities facility referred to as Guac Bowl Stadium

If you enter the stadium, you’ll be able to click on to see content material from Avocados from Mexico, purchase Guac Bowl Swag, and study extra a few contest the place Avocados from Mexico followers may win $1 million. 

Here is a have a look at what this on-line expertise appears like: 

Guac BowlThis can be a nice instance of how a model can interact audiences with a digital expertise that discusses a product, highlights intriguing content material, and offers them the chance to work together with the model. In a time the place companies are more and more going digital, manufacturers can take a observe from Avocados from Mexico for constructing this inventive however considerably easy net expertise.  


As an alternative of making a high-priced Tremendous Bowl advert, Audi has seemingly averted acknowledging the Tremendous Bowl solely on social media. As an alternative, the model is ramping up for the “world premiere” of its newest automobile, the Audi e-tron GT — which has an early February launch plan. 

As an alternative of specializing in a 30-second industrial slot, Audi has been rolling out content material together with interviews with its Senior VP to debate the creation of the brand new automobile and the way it will resolve for client ache factors.

Though Audi will not be diving deep into Tremendous Bowl campaigns, it’s a good instance of a model that may have redistributed funds for a multimedia advertising marketing campaign. This exhibits that, typically, an efficient marketing campaign does not must leverage present occasions in any respect.


This yr’s wasn’t the primary time we noticed main manufacturers decide out of the massive recreation.

Take 2018 for instance. That yr, Skittles determined they did not wish to shell out tens of millions of {dollars} on a Tremendous Bowl advert. As an alternative, they used the cash to create a full-length Broadway musical.

What may the Skittles musical probably have been about? Effectively, it was described as a musical industrial that mentioned the insincere and high-priced world of promoting.

The musical was by no means aired on TV or streaming providers, however this is a have a look at the musical’s major ballad, “Promoting Ruins Every little thing:”

Whereas what Skittles did was each inventive and intelligent, it was nonetheless fairly costly. And, as a small to medium-sized enterprise marketer, you seemingly cannot afford a Tremendous Bowl advert or a Broadway musical various simply but.

So, what do you do if you do not have tens of millions in your funds just like the manufacturers above?

Under, I am going to listing 5 widespread promoting methods that manufacturers use in the course of the Tremendous Bowl. For every, I am going to stroll you thru how one can reap the benefits of every on a a lot smaller scale whereas nonetheless successfully gaining model consciousness.

5 Inexpensive Advertising and marketing Options to Tremendous Bowl Promoting

1. Purchase video advert house on social platforms.

As a small enterprise marketer, you needn’t pay for a high-priced televised advert slot to get seen by the precise audiences.

With the expansion of on-line platforms and social media networks, like YouTube, Fb, and Twitter, we have additionally seen the expansion in alternatives for in-stream promoting. When you’re much less aware of this type of promoting, it permits you to submit a video-based advert to a service like YouTube or Fb. Then, the advert will normally be seen as pre-roll or mid-roll inside longer movies.

Investing in on-line on in-stream video adverts may additionally be a greater guess than investing in conventional tv commercials. Apart from the Tremendous Bowl and different main televised occasions, individuals are tuning in much less and fewer to dwell tv. In the meantime, customers are streaming video, browsing the web, and logging into social media channels greater than ever earlier than.

Moreover, whereas Tremendous Bowl or TV adverts normally have one up-front value, on-line advert placements have extra versatile prices that may be larger or decrease relying on how lengthy they’re, how lengthy you’d prefer to flow into the adverts, and the dimensions or scope of your audience. To place it plainly, whereas manufacturers pay tens of millions for simply 30-seconds in the course of the Tremendous Bowl, advert platforms like Fb or YouTube mean you can spend much less whereas focusing on audiences which might be almost certainly to interact together with your content material.

One other perk? Whereas televised commercials require a client to recollect and search for your model later, on-line adverts typically enable audiences to click on on them immediately after they’re excited about your product or provide. This routinely provides a better probability of ROI and reduces friction between the model and the client.

When you determine to reap the benefits of on-line video adverts, you may wish to drill down in your purchaser persona earlier than placing cash behind an advert platform. Ask your self questions like, “Which social media platforms do they use?”, or “What’s their gender and age vary?” The solutions to those questions will show you how to decide which social media platforms you must run adverts on and which viewers targets you must set in your adverts.

After defining your viewers, you may additionally wish to create attention-grabbing content material focused particularly in your goal consumers.

On on-line platforms, you may typically have the ability to buy an advert slot between six seconds to 1 minute lengthy. Nevertheless, as a result of the web is so fast-paced, your viewers’s consideration span might be a lot lower than your allotted time. For instance, on common, Gen Z and millennials will solely take note of on-line content material for eight to 12 seconds.

If you are going to buy a extra budget-friendly skippable advert placement, drawing consideration will probably be an much more essential technique as uninterested viewers will press the “Skip Advert” button to observe the video they’ve searched as quickly as they’re in a position to.

Here is an important instance of a pre-roll advert from the job search website Reed.co.uk. The advert instantly attracts consideration with a video of meowing kittens. Then it embraces its pre-roll placement by calling out YouTube viewers for watching movies as a result of they’re “distracted from their job.” On the finish, Reed, the positioning’s founder, tells the viewer to click on on the video, which can ship them to the job website:

As you create an advert, take a observe from Reed.co.uk by guaranteeing that it attracts consideration instantly.

Haven’t got a field of kittens just like the advert above? Think about using different strategies to attract consideration, reminiscent of presenting a relatable ache level, providing a price proposition, or inserting viewers into an action-filled scene when the video begins enjoying.

2. Dive deeper right into a video narrative.

Apart from conventional commercials that set up a primary ache level and provide a easy product-based answer, Tremendous Bowl adverts are additionally identified to have a novel storyline or really feel like miniature films.

Here is one historic Tremendous Bowl instance that sits within the Clio Corridor of Fame. Throughout its 1984 advert spot, Apple introduced the Macintosh with a industrial themed across the George Orwell novel, “1984.”

The novel, written in 1948, informed the story of a dystopian society the place all folks adopted one chief, dressed the identical and conformed to the identical ideologies.

The Apple industrial stays in step with the George Orwell traditional because it begins with hundreds of males strolling in a lined formation as they enter an auditorium the place an omnipotent chief preaches about their society on a large display. The advert’s narrative will get fascinating when a girl in colourful clothes instantly runs into the room and hurls a hammer into the superior chief’s display, figuratively destroying the tasteless conformist society.

On the finish of the industrial, a narrator broadcasts, “On January twentieth, 1984, Apple will introduce the Macintosh. And you may see why 1984 will not be like 1984.”

Why was the Apple advert so fascinating and iconic? On the time, Apple was thought of a younger disruptive underdog firm whereas the PC world was monopolized by IBM — a way more conventional large company. This industrial is a deep metaphor for the way Apple’s model, progressive merchandise, and mission would free laptop customers from the monopolies of previous tech giants.

Sure, Apple did have extra sources than the typical startup when producing this advert. In actual fact, it was directed by Ridley Scott — identified for his work on award-winning movies like Alien and The Martian.

However, on a smaller scale, all it takes to create an attention-grabbing narrative advert is one or two inventive workforce members and inexpensive video tools.

Moreover, commercials that inform an important story do not essentially have to debate a deep or intense matter, like Apple’s. Alternatively, they can be fast and humorous anecdotes.

This smaller-scale instance from Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture merely tells the story of a bulldog getting behind at his workplace job. The storyline encourages folks to spend extra money on essential issues, like job candidates, whereas nonetheless saving cash on furnishings on the retailer chain:


Interested by crafting a compelling commercial script? Take a look at this template. You probably have an important thought however aren’t positive the place to begin production-wise, learn this step-by-step information.

3. Leverage main occasions or holidays.

At any time when there is a main occasion, just like the Tremendous Bowl, large manufacturers soar to create campaigns that leverage developments associated to it. It’s because people who find themselves within the occasion may additionally benefit from the content material or adverts that debate it.

Though large manufacturers air commercials throughout main occasions, you’ll be able to as a substitute create campaigns that make popular culture or occasion references. These may embrace weblog posts about how an occasion pertains to your trade, a social media submit that leverages topical hashtags, or a advertising video about how your prospects is perhaps celebrating an occasion.

Here is an instance the place the power drink model G-Gas asks Twitter customers to answer to their tweet with who they assume will win the 2020 “#SuperBowl.” Within the tweet, they embrace a picture of two G-Gas drinks in entrance of a soccer area:

G-Fuel Super Bowl Tweet

That is sensible as a result of those that have an interest within the Tremendous Bowl would possibly click on the #SuperBowl hashtag or search the subject and discover this submit. Though it does not immediately promote the drink and does not have an endorsement from the NFL, the submit nonetheless leverages the pattern and allows Tremendous Bowl followers to study extra in regards to the sporty power drink.

Nevertheless, whereas leveraging a vacation and social media developments would possibly seem to be low-hanging fruit, you must take into account that every occasion has sure legalities round it.

For instance, the NFL has trademarked the term Super Bowl and doesn’t enable manufacturers to say the occasion title in content material with industrial intent. So, if G-Gas had been to advertise its drinks as “official Tremendous Bowl drinks,” it will infringe upon this trademark. Nevertheless, by displaying an image of their product in entrance of a soccer area and easily asking followers about their ideas on the precise recreation, they don’t seem to be saying that their product is in any manner endorsed by the NFL.

To keep away from any additional blurred strains when referencing the Tremendous Bowl in a paid advert or industrial, manufacturers normally name it, “the massive recreation” or “the soccer recreation,” as a substitute.

4. Lean into co-marketing.

Generally, even for large manufacturers, it is extra budget-friendly and interesting to create a co-marketed Tremendous Bowl advert. With this technique, two or extra manufacturers put cash, time, effort, or sources into making a joint piece of content material that cleverly highlights all manufacturers concerned.

Here is an important instance of a 2015 advert the place Newcastle pooled its cash with 37 different manufacturers to purchase a Tremendous Bowl advert slot that mentions all the businesses sooner or later. The advert was appropriately titled, “Band of Manufacturers:”

The instance above is among the most insane examples of co-marketing, however this can be a technique that’s extremely scaleable to small companies and has been used as a tactic for ages.

Under is an instance of how Louis Vuitton and BMW joined forces as luxurious journey and transportation product suppliers by launching a collection of adverts that present their smooth, black merchandise collectively. The marketing campaign was titled, “The Artwork of Journey.”

The co-branding instance above is efficient as a result of it options two firms that complement one another somewhat than competing in opposition to one another. Their audiences, that are made up of upper-class professionals, additionally mesh nicely collectively and can interact equally with one of these promotion.

5. Contemplate influencer advertising.

Apart from high-budget productions and fascinating storylines, Tremendous Bowl commercials are additionally identified for his or her star-studded casts. Bear in mind this Amazon Echo industrial the place Alexa is voiced by a handful of in style celebrities?

Though you most likely cannot rent stars like Cardi B, you would possibly have the ability to funds content material from a micro-influencer who’s closely adopted or thought of credible in your trade.

If you sponsor an influencer that actually understands their viewers and your trade, they’re going to create and publish content material that intrigues their viewers whereas additionally highlighting your product.

Influencer marketing is much like co-branding. However, as a substitute of accelerating the probabilities of two branded audiences studying about each firms featured in a single piece of content material, influencer advertising allows the influencer’s viewers to study your product whereas your viewers can study extra in regards to the influencer.

An influencer advertising technique can be particularly efficient on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok.

In this example, the smartphone recreation “Run Round” sponsored a TikTok person who’s gained more than 15,000 followers just by recording herself enjoying cellular video games.

Within the efficient TikTok instance above, the model recognized that gaming-oriented audiences had been on TikTok and sponsored an influencer who’s viewers anticipates her cellular gaming opinions and demonstrations.

Making a (Considerably) Tremendous Bowl-High quality Advert

As you’re employed in direction of creating a top quality advert on a funds, preserve these scaleable large model ideas in thoughts:

  • Inform an important story. Pull your viewers in, enable them to narrate to your model, and hook them by presenting how your product might help them.
  • Embrace present occasions: Craft campaigns that contact on highly-discussed on fashionable occasions, such because the Tremendous Bowl, award exhibits, or holidays — particularly in the event that they relate strongly to your model.
  • Leverage manufacturers and influencers: Partnering with manufacturers and influencers can enable your product or firm to get consideration from comparable audiences that you have not already reached. To get began, analysis and construct relationships with manufacturers and influencers that your audiences or industries look to for credible ideas.

Wish to see more practical large model marketing campaign methods that you could study from? Take a look at this submit the place we reveal our favourite Tremendous Bowl adverts of all time. 

Editor’s Word: This piece was initially revealed in February 2020, however was up to date in 2021 for comprehensiveness and freshness. 

advertising plan

About admin

Check Also

What is Comparative Advertising? [+ Examples]

Promoting is the method of making messages that increase consciousness of your model.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: