State of Crowdsourcing: Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl XLVIICompanies are beginning to incorporate crowdsourcing into their advertising campaigns on both the local and national level.

Crowdsourcing campaigns not only help companies innovate and come up with creative ideas, it also helps them engage with their fans on a new level.  This year, for Super Bowl XLVII, a number of well-known corporations will be running crowdsourcing campaigns to help design and determine which commercials they will air.  30-second commercial slots during the Super Bowl can cost up to $3.8 million–over $126,000 per second.  Given the high cost and pressure to produce quality ads, companies are turning to the power of the crowd to help decide on the themes and scripts of commercials.  Although these companies come from a range of industries, they share a common goal–to reach out to as many individuals and households as they can.

Here are examples of companies holding crowdsourcing campaigns for Super Bowl ads:


For the sixth year in a row, Doritos is crowdsourcing two Super Bowl commercials.  Fans are able to create and submit video content to the “Crash the Super Bowl Contest,”  and winners will have their ad aired during the game.  Thus far, five finalists have been selected; one will be chosen by Doritos executives and the other will be selected by online votes on social media sites.  Doritos has had success in the past few years with these crowdsourcing campaigns to create ads because its gives full control to consumers–the ones that know the product and brand the best.

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is also relying on the crowd to create videos for their commercial slot during the Super Bowl.  Fans are invited to upload football-themed videos of themselves yelling words uttered by quarterbacks, “Hut. Hut. Hut.”  With this campaign, Pizza Hut hopes to engage fans on a deeper level and involve them in the creation process of significant projects.

Dunder Mifflin Paper Company

Companies outside of the food industry are also using crowdsourcing campaigns to create commercials during the Super Bowl.  The Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, well known from the NBC Series the Office, is holding a two phase competition to get consumers involved in the branding of the company.  The first phase asks individuals to submit script ideas for the commercial, and the second phase asks for video submissions.  Finalists will receive cash prizes up to $15,000.  The goal of the campaign is to bring a non-fictional brand to the paper company.

Ford Motors

Not only are companies crowdsourcing ideas, they are finding ways to incorporate social media into their advertisements.  Ford Motors and Jimmy Fallon, for example, are using Twitter to reach out to younger consumers.  The “Steer the Script” campaign asks users to send tweets about their driving experience and pitch ideas for the commercial.  Fallon will then use these tweets as inspiration and produce a script for a Super Bowl ad featuring the Lincoln MKZ.  The average customer of the Lincoln is 65-years-old–with this Twitter campaign, Ford hopes to engage a younger, more affluent demographic.


Millions of viewers tune into the Super Bowl not just for the football and the commercials, but also for the halftime performance.  Last year, a record 114 million people watched the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show.  Pepsi plans to involve the large audience by crowdsourcing an introductory video with images of fans to introduce Beyonce in this year’s show.  Fifty fans will also be chosen randomly to perform as backup dancers during the show.  The campaign gives a different kind of halftime show experience to the viewer as they are able to be a part of it and “live” it.

Crowdsourcing initiatives are helping companies engage their fans and brand their product.  The Super Bowl, which attracts millions of viewers of nearly all demographics serves as a stage for companies to expand their reach and attract new customers.  These crowdsourcing campaigns help companies not only produce high quality content, but also help them understand what products and branding their customers support.


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