The Super Bowl is the most expensive form of paid media around. In 2013, brands will pay as much as $4 million per 30-second spot. Yes, you did the math right: that’s over $100,000 per second!  With only seconds to make an impression, how do big brands make the most of their media buy?

While Super Bowl commercials used to be kept top secret with no leaks, previews or public involvement, the model has completely flipped.  Today brands have learned to get creative so that their content lives on both before and after game day.

Creating great content takes a lot of time and effort: how can you make it stick? Use the following 5 tactics to extend the life of your content!


Since 2006, Doritos has run their “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. It has since become one of the largest online video contests, drawing over 6,100 submissions for the 2012 Super Bowl. Check out the video below

Why does this work?

People like being heard. Video crowdsourcing allows fans to actively participate in your brand, showing how much their opinion is valued.  It also gives every day people hope that they could get their 15-seconds of fame. This method also breeds virality.  Rather than putting a video out and hoping someone shares it, you touch each participant’s social circle and get shares immediately.

Ask People to Vote

This year, Coca-Cola created a viewerinfluenced commercial. The commercial consists of three groups of characters: Badlanders, Showgirls, and Cowboys. People will use social media before the game even starts to decide which group gets a Coke during the last commercial – which airs immediately after the game.  When voting, users are encouraged to tweet which group they’re rooting for, which must be especially nice for those whose football team didn’t make it to the big game.

Why does this work?

People like rooting for their team, even if it’s in a commercial.  While live voting is becoming more popular, the ability to influence a brand’s content in real-time is still very new and exciting.

If you’re a small business interested in this tactic, we highly recommend participating in or hosting a relevant Twitter chat.  Ask people in your chat to decide what the next question will be about or to vote on something new you’re doing.  You can also get your customers to vote by hosting a live webinar or in-person event.

Use Humor

Sounds simple enough, but year after year, the best Super Bowl commercials are the funniest. Just try to watch Volkswagen’s 2013 ad without smiling.  Get people to laugh and you’ll get people to share!

Why does this work?

People like laughing…obviously. But they also like sharing funny stuff, which extends reach beyond the live broadcast.

Represent a Cause

This year, Soda Stream will attempt to show how environmentally unfriendly it is to consume bottled drinks.  Those who are concerned with the environment will likely find Soda Stream’s content for months, if not years, after their Super Bowl commercials end.

Why does this work?

Content that “goes viral” typically evokes a strong emotional reaction. In addition, content about important causes is often searched, shared and written about.  In order to increase the reach of your digital content, think about how you can align your brand with something bigger than itself.

Create a Series

While I don’t know whether any of the brands advertising in the Super Bowl plan on creating series out of their commercials after the game, this would be a great tactic.  Take the edgy Gildan advertisement, which attempts to communicate that a guy will go through anything to get his favorite Gildan t-shirt back.  This commercial uses humor and a bit of drama that makes people wonder, what happens next?  What’s this guy all about?  Who else is having this problem?  What’s the girl like?

Why does this work?

Think about how attached you are to your favorite TV shows and movie series.  People get attached and want to see what happens next.  If one commercial tells a story that people want more of, why not continue the story?

Regardless of your budget, smart digital marketers always will find a way to extend the life of their content.

What tactics have you used to extend the longevity of your digital content?

Did it work?