The Selling of the Superbowl in the Age of Insta-Marketing

champion football.jpgLast night, one Macy’s employee (or perhaps a crack team of them) couldn’t just kick back with beer, nachos, and a critical eye for pricey commercials as the gridiron excitement played out in Phoenix. No, he/she/they had an important job to do: a) watch the Superbowl, and then, mere minutes after the victor was declared, b) select and send the appropriate one of two prepared e-mails alerting Macy’s customers of the availability of a special Waterford crystal football celebrating the winner.

Mission accomplished. As New Yorkers rejoiced and New Englanders sobbed, thousands of people nationwide received an e-mail with the subject “The Giants win it all! Celebrate with a Waterford Crystal football!” The marketing copy beckoned readers to “Commemorate every bone-crunching tackle and triumphant touchdown” with a $185 limited edition “Champion Football.” Since the item’s production was contingent upon the game’s outcome, it doesn’t actually exist yet, so visitors to Macys.com were alerted that they’d have to wait a while to receive their sparkly footballs (each individually engraved, numbered, and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity!). The item is described “on order: usually ships within 65 business days.”