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

And, though the worth 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. As a result of ongoing world pandemic and occasions of economic uncertainty, many large manufacturers that used to hurry to purchase advert slots are actually attempting to keep away from spending thousands and thousands 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.

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Three notable manufacturers that will not be airing Tremendous Bowl advertisements 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 under 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 tough alternative was made to make sure we’re investing in the precise assets 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 thousands and thousands of viewers, this yr’s shifts present that an organization would not essentially have to pay $5 million to achieve consciousness. 

Beneath, I will stroll via a number of examples of what large manufacturers that opted out of Tremendous Bowl advertisements did to market their model as a substitute. Then I will clarify how you should utilize widespread Tremendous Bowl-season advertising methods affordably in your individual campaigns.

What 4 Massive Manufacturers Did As a substitute of Shopping for Tremendous Bowl Adverts


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

As a substitute the model determined to launch a Twitter marketing campaign the place a video that includes its mascot — the Clydesdale — could 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 thousands and thousands are glued to Tremendous Bowl advertisements, in addition they scroll via Twitter or social media feeds for reside sport protection. Whereas doing so, they may uncover Budweiser’s marketing campaign.

Avocados from Mexico

Whereas Avocados from Mexico aired a number of Tremendous Bowl advertisements up 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 known as Guac Bowl Stadium

Once you enter the stadium, you may click on to see content material from Avocados from Mexico, purchase Guac Bowl Swag, and study extra a couple of 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 provides them the chance to work together with the model. In a time the place companies are increasingly going virtual, manufacturers can take a observe from Avocados from Mexico for constructing this artistic however considerably easy internet expertise.  


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

As a substitute 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 automotive and the way it will clear up for shopper ache factors.

Though Audi isn’t diving deep into Tremendous Bowl campaigns, it’s a good instance of a model which may have redistributed funds for a multimedia advertising marketing campaign. This reveals that, generally, an efficient marketing campaign would not have to leverage present occasions in any respect.


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

Take 2018 for instance. That yr, Skittles determined they did not wish to shell out thousands and thousands of {dollars} on a Tremendous Bowl advert. As a substitute, 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 companies, however here is a have a look at the musical’s important ballad, “Promoting Ruins All the things:”

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

So, what do you do if you do not have thousands and thousands in your funds just like the manufacturers above?

Beneath, I will listing 5 widespread promoting methods that manufacturers use through the Tremendous Bowl. For every, I will stroll you thru how one can make the most of every on a a lot smaller scale whereas nonetheless successfully gaining model consciousness.

5 Reasonably priced Advertising and marketing Alternate 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. In the event you’re much less conversant in this type of promoting, it lets you 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 advertisements may also be a greater wager than investing in conventional tv commercials. Other than the Tremendous Bowl and different main televised occasions, individuals are tuning in much less and fewer to reside tv. In the meantime, shoppers are streaming video, browsing the web, and logging into social media channels greater than ever earlier than.

Moreover, whereas Tremendous Bowl or TV advertisements normally have one up-front value, online ad placements have more flexible costs that may be greater or decrease relying on how lengthy they’re, how lengthy you’d wish to flow into the advertisements, and the scale or scope of your audience. To place it plainly, whereas manufacturers pay thousands and thousands for simply 30-seconds through the Tremendous Bowl, advert platforms like Facebook or YouTube permit you to spend much less whereas concentrating on audiences which are almost definitely to have interaction together with your content material.

One other perk? Whereas televised commercials require a shopper to recollect and search for your model later, on-line advertisements typically permit audiences to click on them directly after they’re curious about your product or supply. This routinely provides a better probability of ROI and reduces friction between the model and the shopper.

In the event you determine to make the most of on-line video advertisements, you will wish to drill down on your buyer 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 assist you decide which social media platforms you must run advertisements on and which viewers targets you must set on your advertisements.

After defining your viewers, you will additionally wish to create attention-grabbing content material focused particularly on your goal patrons.

On on-line platforms, you will typically be capable of buy an advert slot between six seconds to 1 minute lengthy. Nevertheless, as a result of the web is so fast-paced, your audience’s attention span could be much less 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 more budget-friendly skippable ad placement, drawing consideration might be an much more essential technique as uninterested viewers will press the “Skip Advert” button to look at the video they’ve searched as quickly as they’re in a position to.

Here is an incredible instance of a pre-roll advert from the job search website 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 by guaranteeing that it attracts consideration instantly.

Do not have a field of kittens just like the advert above? Think about using different methods to attract consideration, corresponding to 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.

Other than conventional commercials that set up a fundamental ache level and supply a easy product-based resolution, Tremendous Bowl advertisements are additionally identified to have a singular storyline or really feel like miniature motion pictures.

Here is one historic Tremendous Bowl instance that sits in the Clio Hall 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, instructed 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 according to 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 lady in colourful clothes abruptly 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 declares, “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 assets than the typical startup when producing this advert. Actually, 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 creative team members and affordable video equipment.

Moreover, commercials that inform an incredible story do not essentially have to debate a deep or intense subject, 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 more cash on essential issues, like job candidates, whereas nonetheless saving cash on furnishings on the retailer chain:

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

3. Leverage main occasions or holidays.

Every time there is a main occasion, just like the Tremendous Bowl, large manufacturers bounce to create campaigns that leverage developments associated to it. It’s because people who find themselves within the occasion may also benefit from the content material or advertisements that debate it.

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

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

G-Fuel Super Bowl Tweet

That is good 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 would not instantly promote the drink and would not have an endorsement from the NFL, the submit nonetheless leverages the pattern and permits Tremendous Bowl followers to study extra concerning the sporty vitality drink.

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

For instance, the NFL has trademarked the term Super Bowl and doesn’t permit manufacturers to say the occasion identify in content material with industrial intent. So, if G-Gasoline had been to advertise its drinks as “official Tremendous Bowl drinks,” it could infringe upon this trademark. Nevertheless, by displaying an image of their product in entrance of a soccer subject and easily asking followers about their ideas on the precise sport, they are not saying that their product is in any method 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 sport” or “the soccer sport,” as a substitute.

4. Lean into co-marketing.

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

Here is an incredible instance of a 2015 advert the place Newcastle pooled its money with 37 other brands 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 likely one of 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.

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

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

5. Think about influencer advertising.

Other than 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 common celebrities?

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

Once you sponsor an influencer that actually understands their viewers and your business, they will 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 possibilities of two branded audiences studying about each firms featured in a single piece of content material, influencer advertising permits the influencer’s viewers to study your product whereas your viewers can study extra concerning the influencer.

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

In this example, the smartphone sport “Run Round” sponsored a TikTok consumer 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 suggestions in thoughts:

  • Inform an incredible story. Pull your viewers in, permit them to narrate to your model, and hook them by presenting how your product may also help them.
  • Embrace present occasions: Craft campaigns that contact on highly-discussed on fashionable occasions, such because the Tremendous Bowl, award reveals, or holidays — particularly in the event that they relate strongly to your model.
  • Leverage manufacturers and influencers: Partnering with manufacturers and influencers can permit your product or firm to get consideration from related 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 suggestions.

Need to see more practical large model marketing campaign methods which you can study from? Take a look at this submit the place we reveal our favourite Tremendous Bowl advertisements of all time. 

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

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