Super Bowl Prices Force Creative Thinking

It’s once again time for the biggest and most exciting event in football, Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Florida, on February 1, 2009. Tickets for this game are being sold for anywhere between $3,000 and $4,000 each at a time when few in this country can afford anything at all. It should be noted that it’s not just admission tickets that are costly this year. A 30-second commercial during this year’s game will cost advertisers $3 million dollars … that’s $6 million a minute or $100,000 per second!

Those out-of-this-world-prices have forced some pretty creative out-of-the-box thinking. Remember back in 1962 when the Avis Car Rental Company gained fame with its “We Try Harder” campaign? This claim was the result of the fact that Avis was currently number #2 in the industry behind Hertz and therefore must try harder to achieve success. When it launched that campaign, Avis was an unprofitable company with 11% of the car rental business in the USA. Within a year Avis was making a profit, and within two years Avis had tripled its market share to 35%.

Is History Repeating Itself?

Anheuser-Busch, the game’s king of advertising and the country’s largest brewing company, will air 4 ½ minutes of ad time this year at a cost of $27 million! However, Miller Brewing Company, #2 in the industry, is going to “Try Harder” and may very well get more publicity by spending only a fraction of that cost.

Talk about creativity!

Talk about thinking “out-of-the-box”!

Talk about overcoming adversity in tough times!

Miller Brewing will air a one-second commercial for the champagne of beers, Miller High Life, on affiliates across the nation. That’s right, a ONE-SECOND COMMERCIAL! Talk about shorter attention spans! Viewers will have to watch closely for these ads. This game-day stunt ad—known as a “blink”—will air on 25 local NBC stations reaching about 60% of the TV audience. The ads will feature the Miller High Life brand and will put the highly popular delivery man from its original ads in the one-second commercials.

Here’s the beauty of this unique approach to a very competitive advertising industry tradition. Miller Brewing, #2 in the industry, will spend millions less than #1 Anheuser-Bush.

Miller Brewing is receiving millions of dollars worth of free advertising as a result of media coverage explaining its unconventional approach to advertising. Radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet are all sharing the story.

As a result of this ongoing coverage prior to the big game, viewers will be looking for these ads in anticipation of something that appears to be impossible.

Viewers can visit the Miller website,, in advance of the game to view the many creative ad spots.

Miller is demonstrating that anyone can use creativity and innovation to deal with adversity in challenging times.

Not only has it discovered a way to compete at a high level, save money when it’s most needed, entertain its audience and demonstrate its uniqueness … Miller may even have found a way to produce the most successful ads of the day at an event where commercials have been known to upstage the actual football game.

Share this report with your staff, watch the game to see if this gamble pays off, and then discuss how this kind of out-of-the-box thinking might very well benefit your organization in this trying times.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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