Can Brands Make A Super Bowl-Sized Ad Last Beyond The Fourth Quarter?

Kevin Super Bowl Pic.jpg

In case you haven’t heard, Super Bowl Sunday is approaching… and even if you’re not one of the 100 million people huddled around the television set, chances are you’ll notice what’s become just as popular as the football game itself: the commercials.

Yes, David Schwimmer as a Robot, M&M Danny Devito — big brands have already started rolling out teaser videos for their full ad spots, taking advantage of all the earned media surrounding the big day.  This is a no brainer, considering the $5 million shelled out for a 30 second Super Bowl spot can buy you a lot of impressions.

What may not be as obvious is that there’s an even bigger opportunity here for brands to go beyond a single campaign and branch out into ongoing and serialized programming.

Of course, not every brand has the pockets for a slot during the big game, but even smaller brands dream of having that one touchdown idea.  

For example, a couple years ago a company called Purple hit it big with a viral mattress video, proving their mattress topper was so soft it could keep four raw eggs intact under 330 pounds of tempered glass.  The video blew up, so naturally Purple kept feeding dollars into the same campaign, but despite the campaign’s immediate success, they actually overlooked a fantastic opportunity to capitalize.  

Purple could have serialized the idea, making it episodic and presenting a different ridiculous method of testing the mattresses softness each week.  What other objects won’t crack under 330 lbs of pressure? How much can this mattress handle?  How can we expand this ad?  These questions keep an audience hooked past the honeymoon phase.

Youtube channels with simple, repeatable formats like this have already built massive audiences. For example The Hydraulic Press Channel is thriving today, and every week there’s a new slow motion crush video sent out to an audience of just under 2 million subscribers—a community which was built organically, rather than through paid traffic.  This is what Purple could have been.

Even though you won’t be seeing the guys over at Hydraulic Press Channel during this year’s Super Bowl, it’s safe to say they know how to capitalize on a Super Bowl-sized idea. And who knows? Maybe before Sunday they can slow motion crush a football for us.

Or perhaps an egg.

Kevin Grosch