Super Bowl Sunday is arguably the biggest day in American sports and inarguably the biggest day in advertising.
With the Super Bowl happening here in New York (ahem, New Jersey) this year, it was incredible to me as a marketer to see the millions of dollars poured into advertising opportunities here on the ground leading up to the big game. And none was as audacious – and thus as fascinating to me – as Bud Light.
Bud Light has historically spent obscene amounts on sports and every other kind of marketing, but their Super Bowl NYC integration was something I just had to see for myself.
So yesterday before the game, I went for a run up Manhattan’s West Side Highway to witness the Bud Light Hotel: an entire cruise ship repurposed to an epic party boat, including a massive party tent and also taking over the entire Intrepid war ship museum for concerts and events throughout the weekend. Security and special passes everywhere. It was only 4pm and I could feel the DJ’s bass pumping from the running path.
Bud Light rebranded everything on the ship, from signs, to pillows to bottles of shampoo. And the transformation wasn’t cheap. Crews worked a total of 1,500 man hours to prepare 300,000 square feet of event space, including the ship’s 45 bars and restaurants and 1,900 staterooms, for guests.
Even though I’m not a personal fan of the brand (craft beer snob; pass the Rogue), I experienced a wave of intense event marketing envy. After years of stretching marketing budgets to the max, I dream of being able to blow out an event on that level. It was spectacular from a branding perspective – see photos below.
What was your favorite Super Bowl marketing initiative or ad campaign? Do you think it’s all about shock & awe shows of logos, or is it about being the most memorable?