Content Marketing Trumps the Super Bowl – Part 2


Content-Marketing-Trumps-the-Super-Bowl-Part-2The Super Bowl is probably the biggest marketing event of the year—so much so that we couldn’t cover all the brilliant content marketing tactics in a single blog post. Yesterday, we talked about how Doritos and SodaStream used online content to promote their Super Bowl ads. Today, we present two more companies, who switched things up and used the Super Bowl to promote their online content.

Newcastle Brown Ale – If We Made It

While other companies used online content to augment their Super Bowl ads, Newcastle chose to forego the actual ad altogether and just use content marketing. Their “If We Made It” campaign satirizes the exorbitant price of Super Bowl ads, along with the tendency of beer commercials in particular to go all out.

In a series of “behind-the-scenes” YouTube videos, stars such as Anna Kendrick and Keyshawn Johnson talk about the incredibly elaborate ad that Newcastle was planning, and how amazing it would have been—only it turned out they didn’t have the money to make it. In fact the videos stress that they didn’t have the money to get permission to say “Super Bowl,” or even “The Big Game,” both of which are trademarked and regulated by the NFL.

Instead, they called it “The Mega Huge Football Game Ad,” and made a series of increasingly ridiculous claims as to what the ad would have included, if only they’d been able to make it. All of this culminated in the release of a video storyboard for their fictitious ad, featuring things like talking cats, giant robots, bikini babes, and more.

But they didn’t stop there. Once the game was over, they released even more videos in the storyboard format, each parodying one of the actual ads that aired during the game, and detailing how it epic it would have looked if Newcastle had made it instead. The end result was a lot of great content and a ton of buzz for Newcastle Brown Ale, without their having to spend a fortune on Super Bowl airtime.



Most of the content created in conjunction with the Super Bowl sought to build buzz in the days and weeks leading up to the game. But Esurance went the opposite route, and proceeded to dominate the conversation on social media after the game was over.

Rather than purchase airtime during the game itself, Esurance bought the first commercial slot after the Super Bowl ended, which, according to them, saved them $1.5 million, or about 30%. In the commercial, actor John Krasinski told viewers that they also could save 30% with Esurance. He went on to tell them that the company would give that $1.5 million to one lucky fan, who tweeted using the hashtag “#EsuranceSave30.”

Almost immediately, Twitter began to blow up with viewers tweeting—some over and over again—in the hope of winning the money. The hashtag was soon trending on Twitter’s homepage, so that even people who hadn’t seen the game or the commercial could still see the brand, get the basic message, and help spread the word.

You don’t need millions of dollars’ worth of airtime to make a marketing splash at the Super Bowl. All you need is creative content and social media marketing. Next year’s Super Bowl is a full year away, so you have plenty of time to plan. How will you use the big game to promote your brand.