In our not-so-distant previous life, we were asked to create a Super Bowl commercial for a company whose entire existence was based on donating money to a growing world epidemic. According to Fox, the average cost for a 30 second commercial was 2.7 millions dollars. And this is only to run the spot, not the production costs to create it.
For a company that’s goal is to donate 10 million dollars in 5 years, it seemed like another marketing assignment lead by a media deliverable and not a problem or objective.
To us, the real problem was spending any money on advertising, especially for the Super Bowl. We discovered that other brands within their parent company were creating Super Bowl commercials and this inspired a relevant solution:
Don’t buy any media space. Instead, have another brand spend their budget on a 29 second commercial, then donate the remaining second to you.
The desired result: The first-ever one-second Super Bowl commercial. No matter what we did in that one second – be it a photo with a web url or something slightly more creative, it was guaranteed to get free publicity and a drive traffic to a compelling story that has no business advertising.
Did they do it? No. Can someone else learn from this missed opportunity? We sure hope so.