Super Bowl commercials come at astronomical cost. Not only do they have to be the best commercial EVAR, the spot itself runs into the millions of dollars and it might not even pay off. (Remember the Pets.com disaster?) But once in a while, a company comes up with an idea that simply owns the competition.
Volvo Wins the Internet
Volvo has launched a social media effort to hijack every single car commercial playing during the Super Bowl. How? By giving away a car. Think about this for a minute… (It is SO cool!) Volvo has invited Super Bowl commercial viewers to each choose a special someone who deserves a brand new car. To participate, simply tweet who and why using the hashtag #VolvoContest every time you see ANY car commercial during the game.
(So while you’re watching that new Mercedes-Benz commercial? Yea, you’re thinkin’ Volvo!)
Let's do the math. Last year, a 30-second Super Bowl commercial slot sold for nearly $4 million...and that doesn't include production costs. Volvo could give away 100 XC60s, each with an MSRP of $37,125—and still come out ahead. But they’re not giving away 100. They'll be giving away just 5.
So for a tiny fraction of the cost, they've hijacked their competition, practically stolen the attention of a powerful Super Bowl audience, and built a valuable follow-up list for their dealers. (After you tweet, you do have to submit an official entry form before you're actually entered into the contest. You know, with your contact information alllll over it.) BAM. Well done, Volvo. Well done.
And speaking of hashtags...
How can YOU use this stealth marketing technique? Even if you're not in a position to give away cars, you may be able to hijack a hashtag. Let's say you're a relatively small snack company, like PopChips. You may not be able to afford a spot during the Super Bowl, but Doritos can, and Doritos really loves Twitter. (Hint, hint—just sayin’.)
Sometimes you just have to use your imagination when you're on a budget. Do it right and you’re sure to drive away with your competitors’ hottest leads.