Meet the Unofficial Super Bowl Advertisers That are Packing a Punch Without Paying Up

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Call them wanna-bes, hangers-on, coat-tailers or worse, but a growing number of brands are trying to achieve the Super Bowl effect without actually paying for it.

From Ford to Newcastle, marketers are finding more ways to take advantage of the Big Game atmosphere but not having to shell out an estimated $4 million for a 30-second spot on Fox this Sunday during the actual contest.

There are juicy pre- and post-game spots that deliver huge audiences as well but at a fraction of the price. And brands are managing to insinuate themselves into all the excitement and heightened promotional sensitivity that has turned a Super Bowl Sunday-only marketing extravaganza into a veritable season of fresh and often remarkable advertising, with all the media coverage and other knock-off effects that it brings.[more]

In addition to Ford, which has purchased the network spot right after the Super Bowl coin toss and before the “official” game begins, here’s how some brands are managing to become almost-Super Bowl advertisers this year:

PepsiCo is blowing up the budget for its Pepsi and Doritos brands once again this Big Game, including halftime sponsorship. But the company also is cleverly parlaying its matrix of relationships with the Super Bowl to promote other brands as well, Simon Lowden, CMO for Pepsi North American Beverages, told brandchannel. That effort includes a “heavy presence” in the pre-game broadcast for Mtn Dew “for the first time in 12 years,” Lowden reports. “Mtn Dew is a success story for us,” he said.

Esurance is teasing a post-game Super Bowl TV spot that promises something “really big” for Twitter users, MediaPost.com reported. “This is the first time the company has purchased national advertising associated with one of the year’s biggest media events, and in keeping with their ‘uber-efficient approach to insurance,’” Esurance purchased air time immediately following the game, the publication said. The time slot provided a savings as compared to an in-game commercial.

Lifelock is launching a new advertising campaign in the wake of all sorts of new breaches of data privacy of American consumers. “Although the timing is mostly coincidental” regarding the Super Bowl, maintained MarketingDaily.com, Lifelock’s campaign depicts “how its services can allow consumers to have peace of mind when it comes to their identity and information. The new effort from Lowe Campbell Ewald includes television commercials and a redesigned company logo.”

Newcastle is featuring scary fish, explosions, thrilling escapes and other action—at least in over-the-top teaser ads online for its Brown Ale, acccording to Advertising Age. The spots, including a pretty funny one starring actress Anna Kendrick, are meant to poke fun at the Super Bowl advertising frenzy at the same time they’re taking advantage of it.

Pizza Hut isn’t advertising during the Super Bowl but, MediaPost.com said, “it’s going to be plenty visible on television during the day of the game. In fact, the brand will run a total of nine new 30-second spots on the Fox network on Feb. 2 prior to the start of the game, before the ads begin airing on other national networks and cable stations.”

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