The Super Bowl is the biggest marketing event of the year, especially for beer brands. But Newcastle Brown Ale didn't have the millions needed to buy airtime. And even if they did, a competitor's billion dollar exclusivity deal banned them from going near or even using the words "Super Bowl". So we decided to call bollocks on Super Bowl marketing hype altogether with a fully integrated campaign about the epic Super Bowl ad we could have made... if we had the money. Below is our case study, followed by the pieces of the campaign.
To poke fun at the protracted roll out of most Super Bowl campaigns, we kicked things off ten days before the game with the teaser for our trailer. We followed up the next day with the trailer. Then we showed our storyboards to genuine focus groups, releasing a video of their confused reactions. Keyshawn Johnson was up next, discussing his gratuitous cameo he would have made.
"Anna Kendrick: Behind The Scenes"
Next up, we released a "Behind the Scenes" video with the actress who would've starred in our ad, Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrick.
"If We Made It"
Finally, after teasing our ad all week, we released the cheap storyboard we DID make for the expensive ad we didn’t.
On our hub, we featured our "cutting edge" app, the Beerplay Ad-caster, which allowed people to watch our Super Bowl ad on TV. But more accurately, a TV that's on your tablet.
If They Made It
On the night of the Super Bowl, we tweeted our own storyboard parodies of other brands' ads minutes after the real ads aired, showing them how we would've spent their millions if we made it. Here's our take on that GoDaddy running bodybuilder Super Bowl spot:
But we managed to piece together enough money for a few banner ads, a transparent Gawker sponsored article and Reddit posts aimed at our marketing averse audiences. The honesty worked, as they surpassed projections by 1000%. We even squeezed out a few tweets from our stars for some more free press.
The results were pretty unexpected and mind blowing. We got featured in almost every online Super Bowl roundup (A first for not having a commercial in the big game). And the campaign even got on TV, getting our story picked up by the Today Show, Entertainment Tonight and Conan. Not too shabby for an ad we never made.