Newcastle Is Rewriting the Book on Super Bowl Promotions

Crowdfunding. Promo sharing. Aubrey Plaza.

The Super Bowl is right around the corner and you know what that means…. The marketing is heading into high gear.

These days that means teasers and chatter, notably about those important usual suspects: like Pepsi, Doritos and Volkswagon. One brand that has made a show of not being included on this list is Newcastle Brown Ale, which has talked openly about the high price tag for being a part of this elite advertising group.

Now they’re taking it to the next level: to get a piece of the Super Bowl promo pie, they’re crowdsourcing their ad. Technically, the Newcastle Band of Brands promises marketing opportunity for a bunch of companies, as many as 20 or 30.

So far, Boost Mobile, McClure’s Pickles, Match.com and Sharper Image are some of the brands that have signed on, according to Ad Age.

For budget’s sake, it’s a great idea to split the cost of these multimillion dollar ads (about $4.5 million, says Forbes). But you’re also splitting the attention with all those logos floating around. Or are you?

Coverage of advertising is never as high as it is around the Super Bowl. It’s not just about getting an ad broadcast. It’s about having it shared on social media, talked about on different sites, and discussed between consumers who are eager to share their favorites. By using a new tactic to get in on the action, Newcastle and its partners set themselves up to be the focus of a discussion about the evolution of the biggest advertising day of the year. And since this is the brainchild of Newcastle Brown Ale, they’ll probably get the lion’s share of the buzz. At this point, what happens after the ad goes public is just as important as the ad itself.

Now, let’s take a moment to talk about their choice of spokesperson, another critical element. Celebrities are go-tos. Animals and funny kids are great.

Newcastle, so far, has been teasing their Band of Brands with Parks & Recreation‘s resident Debbie Downer, Aubrey Plaza. She has no inflection in her voice ever, making it hard to be excited or charming or sentimental. But she is funny as hell. Also, “permanently sarcastic.” She’s giving voice to the tone that Newcastle is taking with this Super Bowl endeavor. Adweek calls her the “anti-spokeswoman” and they’re on to something.

That’s a voice that you’ll pay attention to when the ad starts playing because it’s so unexpected. And at a time when traditional marketing is being tossed on its head, why not go in another direction with the spokesperson? She’s actually spot on because she’s so off.

We’re going to call this an early win.