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We are entering the anticipation zone for 2007 Superbowl Ads, and I'm wondering how a brand can really do something that gets attention. Shall we turn our attention to consumer-generated ideas and new media buzz...?

First, let's re-cap: The New York Times media columnist, Stuart Elliott, wrote a helpful article on the good, bad and ugly of 2006.
One of his "bad" selections was the Cadillac Escalade "fashion show" ad that we all knew would bomb. One ad that Stuart left out was the Dove Self-Esteem Fund ad (a series of images of girls and young women with text like "hates her freckles" and such, overlaid). Perhaps there was no way to measure the sales-generating "success" of this piece, but anecdotally,it got a lot of women and men I know thinking and talking - and paying more attention to how their daughters and nieces felt about themselves. That's a success, any way you slice it.
So, what may happen this year? We know that Frito-Lay is just one of the brands planning a consumer-generated ad. Otherwise, we generally expect big bucks will be spent and perhaps a "hot" celebrity or two will appear and.. well, the usual. (Yawn.)
There is one intriguing possibility brewing, however, and it may be just the humanizing, storytelling sponsorship opportunity a Superbowl advertiser needs: The SuperProposal (a.k.a. "the superbowl proposal").
Here's the quick rundown: A guy who calls himself J.P. wants to propose to his longtime girlfriend during the big game (and wants to keep it a secret). At first he put out the online call to get donations, and raised $75,000. Then he realized it might take a little longer to raise the $2 million+ for a 2007 Superbowl ad (which were close to being sold out anyway). So - he has decided to proceed by getting the sponsorship attention of an existing Superbowl advertiser.
So this is my marketing to women nudge for the cause: For those brands interested in gaining the attention of the women who watch the Superbowl as well as the men, consider these reasons:
- You will be connecting people to one another around your brand. (You sponsor it, and consumers will make note of who aligned with this intriguing event.)
- You will be presenting an emotion-filled event with which lots of Superbowl watchers - and many of your consumers - can relate.
- You will offer something very different in a "same-old" saturated several hour timeframe that is all the more likely to catch viewers off guard, and keep them from running to the kitchen for the chips.
So what are you waiting for?!
I will keep you updated as things progress with this consumer-generated sponsorship opportunity/marketing to women case study.

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image of Andrea Learned
Andrea Learned is a noted author, blogger, and expert on gender-based consumer behavior. Her current focus is on sustainability from both the consumer and the organizational perspectives. Andrea contributes to the Huffington Post and provides sustainability-focused commentary for Vermont Public Radio.