Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

It never fails. Every year, the Hail Mary of marketers is the Super Bowl. And this year is no exception, as we continue to see the price for a 30-second spot on national television eclipse Donald Trump's annual hairspray budget. (For the record it's $2.7 million for an ad).

In recent years, we've seen more interactivity built into the ad process, with Doritos' contest for a consumer-generated ad being the most notorious. This year, we're seeing some interesting angles as well.

Some of my favorite commercials during the Super Bowl have always been from Anheuser-Busch. Whether it was the once-funny "True" series (aka Wassup) or the very touching Clydesdales' tribute to September 11, 2001, Budweiser has rarely disappointed during the big game.

A-B actually has a channel on YouTube where they're previewing a number of their ads - you can see where some of them are going, but you'll have to tune into the game (or any Web site the day after) to see if you predicted the story line. You can check them out in the badge below.

But here's where it gets moderately interesting: there's a mobile promotion running simultaneously. Over the next two weeks, visitors to BudBowl.com, BudLight.com and Budweiser.com will be invited to participate in an interactive program during Super Bowl where they can rate the Super Bowl ads.
  • Following each of the commercials, you'll receive a text message to your cell phone prompting you to reply with a rating
  • Following the final ad, you'll receive a final text message with a code that allows you to unlock the secret 11th spot available via your video-enabled cell phone or on BudBowl.com
  • Anyone who views the secret spot will be invited to send a customized message to their friends inviting them to view the secret spot
As far as as contest goes, that's pretty cool. But more than that, Budweiser is going even further in terms of distributed content:
  • All of the ads will be available for download to PDAs, phones and iPods on Budbowl.com
  • For the first time, they include a widget that allows you to post your favorite ads on your own site - blog, MySpace page, Facebook profile, etc.
A couple of years ago, I found a site that made about 85 of those hilarious Real Men of Genius radio spots available as mp3s. I grabbed them, but later found the site was the victim of a classic cease-and-desist order from the Anheuser-Busch lawyers. Understandable from a rights-management standpoint, but when you think about branding and free content distribution platform, it was a shortsighted move.

So it goes almost without saying that I'm impressed with what they've managed to put together for Super Bowl XLII. Let's hope that the Patriots manage to pull off a perfect season and make the game something to remember.

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