A few days before this year’s Super Bowl, I wrote an article (Super Bowl Prices Force Creative Thinking) focusing on the creative thinking needed to cope with increased prices for this year’s spectacle.
Super Bowl XLIII attracted 98.7 million viewers, making it the most-watched of all time. The game ranks behind only 1983’s M*A*S*H* finale as TV’s top telecast.
Having to come up with $3 million for a 30-second commercial inspired Miller Brewing to create a ONE SECOND spot which not only saved millions of dollars but gained tremendous exposure for its creative efforts.
Believe it or not, someone may have topped that endeavor. This year chipmaker Frito-Lay offered a $1 million prize in its Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” program to anyone who could produce a commercial that could win the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter real-time consumer rating (a 10-year-old consumer opinion poll). Most major advertisers cough up approximately $2 million just to produce an average 30-second commercial. They then pay an additional $3 million for the privilege of airing that spot during the Super Bowl. Total = $5 million.
The winning commercial was created by a couple of unemployed, non-advertising but aspiring film maker brothers from Indiana. They spent less than $2,000 on their commercial which was filmed at their local YMCA by a cast and crew made up of their friends! Their spot featured a man using a snow globe as a crystal ball. He lobs it through the glass on a vending machine after predicting free chips for the office. A colleague then predicts a promotion, but when he lobs it, it hits his boss in the crotch.
Here’s the kicker … this wasn’t just a pretty good commercial. This was chosen by viewers to be the best commercial! The unemployed brothers beat out 51 big-budget advertisers, creating the highest-rated commercial to air during the Super Bowl. The cost again—a mere $2,000. Now compare that to the average production cost of $2 million per 30 seconds paid by such big names as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Bridgestone, Anheuser-Busch, Disney, Sony, Toyota, Kellogg, and so many others.
The moral of this story is simple. Times are obviously tough today … in every aspect. And, by all media accounts, things are going to get worse before they get better. And yet this year’s biggest and most expensive sporting event has produced two, yes two, examples of what can be accomplished with a little creative thinking. A one-second commercial and a dirt-cheap commercial have each set a precedent that will surely start a trend for those coping with tight budgets. Both can be attributed to creative thinking. Let’s not forget a couple of thoughts that have been around for decades and yet aren’t always remembered or practiced:
- When the going gets tough, the tough get going!
- When tough times appear, people tend to fall into three groups:
- Those who wish things would happen …
- Those who allow things to happen …
- Those who make things happen …
Where do you fall?