How You Can Produce a Super Bowl-Worthy Marketing Campaign on a Small Budget

Brian Bennett

STIR | President
Feb 1

Every February, more than 100 million of us gather before our large screens to watch the Super Bowl.

Most of us don’t care about the outcome because our teams didn’t make it. We enjoy the best that the advertising and marketing industry has to offer, and witness the best-funded marketing campaigns of our time, produced by colossal advertising agencies.

Many of these Super Bowl commercials and the supporting promotional concepts are brilliant. Marketers in the audience wish they could have a campaign on that level for their brand.

Guess what? You can.

What makes these ads magical is complex but well within reach: Advertising creativity. Integrated marketing communications. Social media campaigns.

By being resourceful, you can follow the principals reviewed below without breaking the bank. Everything discussed here can be executed tastefully on a reasonable budget and at a local level. It does take some talent to create something special, but this doesn’t have to run in the millions.

Here’s what you’ll need to focus on:

  1. Be brand relevant: Develop a core campaign idea that is relevant to a key driver of interest to your brand. Tie into a benefit that you offer to the consumer (not a product attribute).
  2. Entertainment value: You need to keep the viewer’s attention. It must be interesting and fresh. A retread of an old idea and overselling just will not do.
  3. Simplicity: Keep the idea very simple. Spots are only 30 seconds long. Try to get one idea and one image to stick in the consumer’s mind.
  4. Genuine appeal: If you know your audience, you know their hot buttons and desires. Find a way to reach a level of appeal on an emotional and value-based level. They’ll love it, and they won’t even know why.
  5. Create a disruption: Things that are out of the ordinary and unusual attract attention. Do something curious and leave the audience wanting more.
  6. Share more online: Drive traffic to your website. Have more brand story content, along with something of value, such as a promotional offer to create conversion, available on your website.
  7. Get people involved: Make it something people want to copy or participate in. Use social media to invite them to share comments. Give them an opportunity to submit photos that you can share across social media channels.
  8. Leverage your small buy with PR: Creative advertising concepts that are truly unique, fun, curious and involve consumers can be worthy of traditional media coverage.
  9. Create a scene: A public display or event in the real world and a well-timed press release will often produce media coverage and social media engagement. Extend your concept to retail merchandising and event marketing.
  10. Do some good: Tie to cause-related marketing that people believe in. Find an organization with core values and benefits that parallel those of your brand. Give consumers a warm feeling and a reason to prefer you.
  11. Remember your keywords: Do everything you can to drive the SEO (search engine optimization) to your site. Develop a keyword strategy of phrases and words that tie to commonly searched terms. Tag and code all content appropriately.
  12. Production value: Camera angles, musical scores, talent, wardrobe, graphic design and the set all are important. It sounds expensive, but you don’t need to go to Hollywood or Madison Avenue to find talented people that will give your work a proprietary look and contemporary finish.
  13. Save the date! When you create all this consumer engagement, be sure that you’re driving consumers to register with you whenever possible. Utilize digital retargeting to continue to cultivate those that have visited your web site.

Unfortunately, following these 13 steps to brilliant work may not be as easy as reading this piece, but you can certainly get there with the help of talented and enlightened partners that are available to you. If your mind is open to working on this level, there is a creative advertising agency that will work with you within your budget.

As you can see, there is far more involved than a simple media buy and digital video production. Tremendous value is found in executing across multiple marketing platforms. Be certain the agency you choose has the integrated messaging capabilities and the strategic chops to design a Super Bowl worthy campaign. Even if you don’t have the $5 million for a 30-second spot in the big game, your brand deserves the best.

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