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Super Sunday Content Kickoffs

Brands are scrapping the Super Sunday ad playbook in favor of kicking off integrated digital content programs and multi-channel experiences. But will this new approach score points with consumers, or will their ad spends end up getting sacked?  

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Aired: February 3, 2023 

Read the transcript 

Hello there and welcome. Well, it’s time for the big game. You know, the big football game. Why am I not saying the name? Well, because, as the football announcer might say, it “is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience.” That’s why brands creating the – ads that get so famous call it “the Big Game.” But now things are changing a bit. What’s going on in the world of big-game ads? They’re becoming big-game content plans. Are you ready for what’s new that you need to lead? Let’s roll. 

Hello everybody. Robert Rose here with the news. It’s what’s new, but – more importantly –what’s important in the world of content marketing. And for the best in best practices – you can always go to 

So it is that time of year – when big brands in both B2B and B2C ready their advertising experiences for The. Big. Game. I’m not going on any rant about how a certain team should have been there – and another team, well … I’m just not going there.  

But one of the reasons people watch the big game is, of course, for the tentpole ads that have been unveiled. Because that time is so precious and expensive, the ads have tended to be celebrity-filled, production heavy, and reaching for some level of memorability. 

From the most famous of big game ads – Apple’s introduction of the Macintosh in 1984 – which ran only one time, to supermodel Cindy Crawford drinking a Pepsi in 1992, to Volkswagen’s The Force in 2011 (which is honestly one of my favorites ever), or Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, or Budweiser’s Clydesdales and puppies that have tugged at our heartstrings all through the years, big game ads have helped shape the culture in so many ways. 

But there’s an interesting evolution developing, and I think it’s got everything to do with a broader trend we’re seeing in content and marketing. 

All those ads – and others like it – were one-and-done campaigns. Sure, some of them served as the kickoff for other related TV commercials or branded campaigns that went well beyond the game.

But, by and large, they served one purpose: Drive a lot of attention and word of mouth for a few weeks after their debut. In fact, one of the ways brands measure those ads is by the earned impressions from news broadcasts and other shows that replay the ads.

What’s our take here at CMI?

Well, now I’m noticing a distinct difference in the campaigns that are being launched. Instead of one-and-done or production-heavy tentpole pieces, many big game campaigns are introductions to integrated digital content or even physical experiences that will be multi-channel, multi-format, and focused on using content (or media) experiences (almost like a product), for a long time. 

Related: For Better Results, Think of Content Marketing Like a Product 

For example, Mars’ M&Ms looked, at first, as though they were retiring their “spokescandy” personas, but it seems they’re now planning to use their big game spot to re-introduce them in some ways and introduce a number of what they’re calling “creative experiences.”  

Busch Light beer apparently will feature a new brand mascot at the big game this year – along with a yearlong effort called The Busch Guide, which aims to connect with nature-loving fans and will promote (I’m assuming in humorous fashion) a survival guide.” 

Limit Break, a Web3 gaming company, will use its big game spot as a launching point for 40,000 NFTs to build excitement for a new mobile game. 

And I’m sure there will be others … It’s a little hard to know exactly because all we have at the moment are teasers for this. But watch out for brands using their big game ads not just to create shock, entertainment, or memorable laugh lines, but also to tee up a bigger, more integrated content program that may create many other types of experiences. 

Watch out for brands using their big game ads to tee up bigger, more integrated content programs that may create other types of experiences says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

But I’d love to know what you think about modern marketing and the big game: Is it the biggest waste of money, or a way to make your mark? Or is it a great way to promote a new content platform that may differentiate your brand? If you had $7 million and you could only spend it on a spot during the big game, how would you spend it?  

But for now, that’s five minutes of what’s new that hopefully, you can use to lead your marketing strategy. I’m Robert Rose and remember, as always, it’s your story to tell – tell it well. 

I’ll see you next week.   

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