Time for THE BIG GAME (yes, you know the one)

It’s that time of year again – The Big Game hits airwaves on Sunday. Want to get your brand in on the action? Pony up, or sit down. Oh, and don’t bother even mentioning the game by name – that’ll cost you as well. As the average cost of a 30-second spot continues to grow, the NFL has spent the past few years buckling down on trademark infringement.

Brands must get creative if they want in on the action, which may even mean capitalizing on mistakes. Just ask our friend ‘Superb Owl’ – his popularity SOARS right about now… and then plummets back to normal (read: nothing) around the same time the winners head to Disney World.

For brands who don’t have $5 million to take advantage of the game’s viewership for 30 seconds, there are still some creative ways you can take part in the conversation.

Content Marketing

Repurpose your evergreen or top-performing content with a spin for the timely event. Even if you can’t mention the event by name (hence – “the big game”), you can still cater your content to an interested audience.

Social Fodder

Oreo put real-time social media engagement into the spotlight with its ‘dunk in the dark’ tweet, published in response to the power outage in the middle of the 2013 game.

The tweet quickly went viral for viewers, many of whom immediately hit Twitter when the game was postponed for 34 minutes.

Don’t be afraid to take part in real-time engagement on social media. Work with social media influencers to make your brand part of the conversation. Develop a real-time social media team dedicated to the effort.


Although our friend Superb Owl will tell you using a trademarked name is frowned upon, you can incorporate it into your targeting strategy. Facebook and Twitter both have the ability to target viewers or fans of events, TV broadcasts, sports teams, you name it. Even without naming the event within your ad copy, you can still take advantage of the event’s popularity.

While we cannot take credit for ‘Superb Owl’ (although I wish I could), we will challenge you to think creatively when it comes to marketing around timely and popular events. Stay nimble. Stay responsive. The limitations put on your campaign may not always be as serious as having the NFL’s lawyers knocking at your door, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little #ballsy with your efforts for The Big Game.


Tori Sabourin
Senior Marketing Analyst 


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