Super Bowl ads inspiration – without the big budgets

If the marketing budget won’t stretch to a few million quid, your business can still explore using video and influencers, but on a smaller scale.

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Woo! It’s the time of year when the two best teams at running up and down a field chasing a leather egg in the whole of America happens, and everyone loses their minds and gets really drunk even though it’s a Sunday. That’s right – it’s the Super Bowl!

It may come as a shock you, but I’m no expert in American Football. I know a bit more about the halftime shows – Janet Jackson’s infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’, M.I.A. flipping the bird during a performance with Madonna, and this year, Lady Gaga chucked herself off a roof. The halftime show is obviously a massive part of Super Bowl, but surprisingly, so are the ads. As the ad break tends to be when I go and make a cuppa, I didn’t get what the big deal was, so I decided to find out more…

Here is what I discovered about this year’s Super Bowl halftime ads:

  • The demographic likes football (or hates it but has to sit through it anyway)
  • Only mega brands need apply
  • Costs advertisers approx $5 million per 30-second ad
  • Often features celebrity cameos
  • Approx 118.5 million people tune in
  • Ads are widely discussed on social media
  • Many of this year’s ads have political undertones

Here are a few of the ads that were shown this year:


Budweiser 2017 Super Bowl Commercial | “Born The Hard Way”


  • Prejudice
  • Ooh, political!
  • Beer – woo!

84 Lumber

84 Lumber Super Bowl Commercial - The Journey Begins


  • Where is the building stuff? Drywall and that?
  • Ooh, political!
  • Watch the rest online

Sexy Mr. Clean


  • A salsa dancing, plastic-faced man with a nightmarish face does the cleaning
  • For some reason, a woman finds this really erotic



  • Unnecessary use of Bieber
  • Use #UnlimitedMoves to show Bieber ‘your moves’ and win a retweet from him. Great prize *sarcasm*



  • Save the environment by driving around in a massive car
  • Features too much of that annoying woman from Bridesmaids

How can these multi-million dollar ads be translated for companies with small marketing budgets?

If the marketing budget won’t stretch to a few million for ad airtime plus another $10 million or so to have Justin Bieber endorse your company, here are a few ideas your business can explore using video and influencers on a smaller scale.


A while back, we blogged about utilising Live Stream video on social media, which is a completely free way to create video content. This can provide a fresh injection of creativity into a content marketing plan and can be used to tie in with other marketing activities like events and product launches.

YouTube has been around for yonks, and video content that shows your product or service in action can be a great way of driving traffic to your site and keeping it there. Having professionals come in and carry out filming may not be as expensive as you think either; shop around for a reputable local company and take a look at their portfolio to see if their previous work aligns with your brand.

You can even create your own ad, and then use Google AdWords to show your ad to targeted users on YouTube – much more precise than the numbers game played by big brands during Super Bowl.

Also, video content shouldn’t be limited to B2C – it can be just as important and effective for B2B companies if done right.


Partnering with influencers can be a great way to get your brand in front of your target demographic – whether it’s an interview, a lookbook, a takeover, or a giveaway.

Finding the right person to partner with is critical – if their values don’t align with your brand, people will often see straight through it, making your brand less likely to resonate with the people you are trying to reach.

Also, remember to keep a close eye on social media features and trends. Instagram Stories is reportedly stealing a huge number of people away from Snapchat – so if you are thinking of partnering with a social media influencer, make sure you do your research to ensure any money spent is well invested.

So, there you go. You may not be reaching 118.5 million people with your content, but it also won’t bankrupt your business.

For more advice on your marketing strategy, come say hello.

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