Regardless as to whether you’re cheering for the Giants or the Patriots in the upcoming Super Bowl on February 5, chances are you’ll tune in to watch not only the game, but the commercials too. Advertisers are bringing sexy back as H&M debuts a 30-second ad starring David Beckham wearing nothing more than his boxers, and Go Daddy has Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels painting the body of a super model.

The Times reports that NBC is charging an average of $3.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime. Sponsors are already creating hype around the expensive ads to get the best return on their investment. So, without a gazillion dollar budget and Hollywood celebs or super models, how can your small biz leverage the Super Bowl hype and score with your customers? Prepare to take the snap and execute a strong offense with these tips:

Just Do It: Super Bowl hype is building. Even if your business doesn’t cater to the “typical” football crowd, you can still capitalize on the theme. For instance, use a football themed subject line to capture attention in the inbox and leverage the theme in your email marketing template or in your messaging. Just because you don’t sell TVs, food or beer doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun and be creative with your message.

Try subject lines like:

  • Are you ready for some savings?
  • Kick off the savings in time for the Big Game!
  • Big Game Super Deals
  • Score! Save 50% off + Free Shipping
  • Down, Set, Savings!

Last year, fashion retailer Banana Republic pulled this off in a winning campaign cited in Sherry Chiger’s article on the The Big Fat Marketing Blog. BR used a staid subject line for its email, sent Friday before the game: “Super Bowl savings: 25% off! + FREE Shipping Every Day.” The body of the message, however, played off a corny joke: “What was the cheapskate’s favorite football play? To get the quarterback.” Amid drawings meant to resemble a coach’s play diagrams, and a headline read, “This weekend only get a quarter back. 25% off all full-priced items.” Banana Republic managed to link a sporting event to women’s fashion in a simple yet effective way.

I was super impressed with the email I received from Kiva this past Friday with the subject line, Super Bowl Friday. It grabbed my attention because I thought what does Kiva have to do with the Super Bowl? Turns out that’s exactly what they intended and it worked. They even wrote a blog about it here. Kiva does a brilliant job spinning the Super Bowl into an opportunity to get their users and prospects thinking about making a microloan.

Check out the top of the fold creative from their email:



Kiva set up two lending teams based on the Giants and the Patriots and does a great job with their messaging. Touchdown Kiva!

Go Small: Yep, I said go small. While the big guys will be paying out the wazoo for a 30-second ad, you can produce your own mini commercial and upload it to YouTube. Include a link to the video in your email and use a subject line like, “Check out VerticalResponse’s Big Game Commercial!” All you need is a camera or phone with video recording capabilities, some creativity and you’re good to go.

Use Your Special Teams: While email marketing is your quarterback for delivering your message to your receivers, make sure you call in your special teams: Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn, to reach a wider audience. You can send a link to your above-mentioned video to your social networks and cross your fingers it goes viral!

Party: That’s right, I am telling you to have a party. Rent a big screen TV and show the game in your location. Offer food and beverages and special savings to anyone who shops during the game. You can offer discounts based on the score, the number of touchdowns, etc. You can even use our Event Marketing tool to plan a great event.

Target the Non-Ballers: Though 111 million people tuned in to watch the Super Bowl last year, that still leaves lots of folks who are tuned out and looking for something, anything to do that doesn’t involve football, so cater to these people too. This is especially beneficial if your business is slightly less attuned to the whole football aesthetic. You can host a special event or sale for these folks too. Theme it around a football respite or, “Who Cares About the Super Bowl?” Your non-ballers will certainly appreciate it.

What will you do to promote your biz during the Super Bowl?

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