How the “Crash the Superbowl” contest can help you transform your social media marketing plan

PepsiCo — parent company of Doritos, Pepsi Max, Mountain Dew, and several other products — is back in the Superbowl game this year. Last year, the company decided to put the money it would have put into their Superbowl commercial into their very successful Pepsi Refresh project — a grant contest program for nonprofits and other causes.

This year, the company is bringing back its Crash the Superbowl contest from five years ago, inviting people like you and me to submit our own thirty-second commercials about Doritos or Pepsi Max.

This alone is a great idea. It’s appealing because most people want their fifteen minutes — er, thirty seconds — of fame. The thought of having my very own commercial aired during the Superbowl is pretty exciting.

Throw in prizes worth up to ONE MILLION DOLLARS, and you’ve got a really exciting game, possibly even more exciting than the biggest football game of the year (and I’m a football fan)! Here’s the deal, according to Mashable:

The final prizes will be determined by how well these ads perform against USA Today’s Ad Meter, which tracks the real-time responses of a panel of ad viewers during the Super Bowl broadcast to determine which ads were liked most and least. If your ads happens to be the most-liked spot of all the commercials to air during the Super Bowl, you’ll awarded $1 million dollars. The consumer goods brands have pledged $600,000 for second place and $400,000 for third.

If consumer-created Doritos and Pepsi Max ads manage to garner all three positions on the list (a statistically unlikely feat, for sure), an additional $1 million will be awarded to each of the three winners. In addition, whoever creates the highest-ranking ad — whether or not it makes it into the top three — will be guaranteed a contract to create another ad for the two brands in 2011.

The winner of this contest is going to be one lucky little ducky, and I’m super excited to see how this is going to play out. PepsiCo has been proving to really get social media and, like Old Spice, is showing that they can be creative and unique while still utilizing social tools to sell their product and re-excite people about an existing and established brand.

Apply This to Your Own Social Media Marketing Plan

Obviously, we small business owners don’t all have $5,000,000 budgets for a contest. However, like Pepsi and Old Spice, we can work with what we have. Are you a nonprofit working to raise funds for a specific cause? Give away tee shirts and other swag to the donor who raises the most funds via your FirstGiving account. Do you install flooring? Give your customer who tags you the most in their Facebook posts a free room of flooring or a few free feet. (Say that five times fast!) You can have customers create videos about your product and offer a free massage, handmade necklace, waive a registration fee for an event, or something else small, depending on your business and product line.

A good social media marketing plan involves a little creativity and up to an hour a day of execution.


Elizabeth K. Barone is a web designer, writer, social media marketing consultant, and blogger. She is just a little addicted to the internet, and loves to read, eat sushi, play video games, and listen to metal in her spare time.

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