Regardless of the upsets (Jets win for the first time since before West Side Story?), who plays in this year’s Super Bowl is irrelevant for advertisers, even with a big market team like New York in the hunt. That’s because the cost to air a commercial this year decreased, not a healthy trend for any event, much less the pseudo holiday of the Super Bowl.
Pepsi, home to Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and countless other stars in the past is bailing on the entire event. Instead, Twitter is all a titter about Pepsi Refresh, a grant program with a social media hooks. Giving money to the community at large for various good works is certainly a longer lasting way to spend millions, but there is a message here for all businesses, large and small.
The biggest events — the Academy Awards, the Super Bowl, US presidential elections — still draw huge crowds and dominate the national news cycle for a long period, but at least one savvy marketing outfit in Pepsi has decided that an Internet spend tied to social media is a smarter bet. They may not have the right answer. They might not even have asked the right questions, and your business may be totally different, but after watching this Britney video from two games ago, decide whether the buzz Pepsi got from Ms. Spears is really bigger than what they’ll get throughout 2010.