PR Lessons from The Super Bowl

Watching the Super Bowl for the commercials is so 2008. It’s 2018 and instead of commercials, the most memorable marketing moves came from the events that big brands put on around downtown Minneapolis. Some of the best events from this past week include:

  • Ford Tough Sleigh Ride – Fans were able to take a ride around downtown Minneapolis in a sled pulled by a Ford F-150. How fun it was it in single digit temperatures? Well, how Ford Tough are you?

  • Polaris UpsideDowntown stunt show – The sportswear company took over Nicollet Mall, a downtown shopping area in Minneapolis, to a host a snowmobile stunt show that was free to the public. Were Minnesotans already not riding their snowmobiles to work though?

  • US Bank Possibilities Lounge – US Bank already has the naming rights to the stadium where Super Bowl LII was played, but they took their marketing push one step further by renting out a local McCormick and Schmick’s and creating a lounge where the public was able to experience a “virtual payment demo”. Interestingly, US Bank did not pay for a national TV ad despite the extensive marketing campaign they had for the Super Bowl.

These brands are capitalizing on what’s called earned media – an event that creates media attention through some good old fashioned sweat equity. The rational is simple: put effort into an event that is fun and worthwhile for the community, and reap the rewards of the media’s attention. Notice all the links in this post are from real news sites, not corporate press releases. The reason these events have become popular is the improved return on investment companies enjoy when compared to a multi-million dollar ads during the big game.

The great news is that you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to pull this off. It just takes a little creativity and media-savvy.

If you’re looking for new ways to increase your brand or association’s exposure, contact Targeted Persuasion and let us help you earn some media.