Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

A modest proposal: 21,900 commercials for the price of 1

In Ideas on January 30, 2009 at 10:53 am

This Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday!, 30 second TV spots during the game will go for $3 million. That’s just for airing the spots and doesn’t include production.

Three million dollars to talk to consumers for 30 seconds. Not listen to consumers. Not even dialogue with consumers. Just talk to your consumers.

Here’s a proposal for using that money differently:

1. Identify 60 people: 50 states + DC + 9 from the following countries:

Brazil, China, Dubai, UAE, England, India, Israel, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Africa

Men, women, old, young, rich, poor, etc., etc.

2. Give them each US$50,000

Ok, stop right there. You just gave $50,ooo to an out of work factory worker, stay at home Mom with medical bills or a recently laid off finance guy. Stop here and you’ve probably already won. That’s $3 million.

3. But also give them each a video camera. Could be one of those Flip cameras, what are they, $100?

4. Ask them to do one, 30 second interview every day for a year. The question: “What does ‘America’ mean to you today?”

Let’s do the math:

60 people x 365 interviews = 21,900 thirty seconds spots

21,900 thirty second spots = 182.5 hours of interviews

Now you are not only listening to 182.5 hours of consumer feedback, you are sharing it with the world. Some of the interviews will be dull, uninteresting. But some – 100? 1,000? 5,000? – will be insightful, impactful and will travel the world via social media.

The entire concept will create what David Meerman Scott calls a World Wide Rave.

It’s more time consuming that producing one 30 second spot. But it lasts a lot longer because it’s not a spot, it’s an idea. Whether you sell soda, beer, financial services or cars, spreading an idea, engaging and listening to consumers is going to be a more successful strategy than just talking for 30 seconds.

  1. It’s crazy, but you’ve pitched me. If I had $3mil and a product, I’d do it.

  2. I totally agree with your proposal. Brilliantly simple, simply brilliant,

    Please take a look at my similar proposal to jumpstart the US economy:

    I think our plans make too much sense for them to be used by government or business. LOL

    “Live, Forever” –

  3. […] Liebling at eyecube has a great idea about other ways to spend that money. I think brands would be better off if their marketing […]

  4. 🙂 I’d do it. I may want to tweak it and make it rally around my brand in a good way. but i’d do it.

    Now where did i keep the $ 3 m…

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