Bidding War for Super Bowl Spot

If you have to shell out $2.1 million to place a commercial on the Super Bowl, you might want to save a little on creative. That’s where Boone/ Oakley can help. The Charlotte, N.C., agency has logged on to eBay and put up for sale two weeks’ worth of “strategically sound, creatively brilliant” concepting for a Super Bowl spot.

“What have you got to lose?” the listing asks. “Nothing. Except that overpaid, underproducing set of posers that you currently call your ad agency.”

Production costs, media costs and out-of-pocket are not included in the offer. But there is a guarantee: If the winning bidder actually produces and airs an ad during the big game based on Boone/Oakley’s ideas and the commercial does not place among USA Today’s “Top Ten Spots of the Super Bowl,” the shop will refund the full bid. (The bidder may run the commercial anywhere else without a guarantee.)

It’s obviously a self-promotional gimmick, but creative director David Oakley insists it’s for real. And in fact, from an opening bid of 99 cents, six hopefuls had raised the price to $100 by press time. The identities of the bidders could not be determined, but Oakley did send letters to companies that generally advertise on the Super Bowl to alert them about the auction. “It’s a great way for a company to get a proven creative agency to work on their business,” he says. “We thought 99 cents would stimulate interest. Everyone knows that’s a bargain.”

Asked if bidding for services might not reduce already battered creative fees, Oakley was sanguine. “Maybe it’ll start a whole new idea in advertising, where companies bid piecemeal,” he says. Fair enough, but isn’t that what a pitch is?

The auction ends this Thursday. Search “boone oakley” on eBay, or go to item No. 2962532734.