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Miller's One-Second Super Bowl Should Make Ad Makers Quiver

Posted by: David Kiley on February 24, 2009

Miller High Life’s one-second Super Bowl ad may have seemed like a stunt, but according to post-game analysis by AC Nielsen, it moved the sales needle just as much as if it ran for 30–seconds.

Here is the ad.

Sales of High Life, a brand within the Miller franchise that hasn’t exactly been at the center of the brewer’s marketing strategy, spiked 8.6% during the week after the Super Bowl vs. the same period a year earlier, according to AC Nielsen. Sales were up 5% from a year earlier the week before the game.

What’s interesting about the 1-second ad is that it comes at a time when online media types are trying to come up with effective ad formats to support online video. Taking a 30-second ad from TV and repurposing it to support a three minute sports clip or the like understandably seems like a bad idea. But a one-second ad, done right?
I can envision a whole lot of effective one to three second ads:

Ford Fusion Hybrid: “41 MPG. Dang!!”

Starbucks: Pike Place: “My Cuppa Joe!”

Burger King Whopper: “Hooooooey. Whopper Time.”

Who else has some one second ad ideas?

Reader Comments


February 24, 2009 7:12 PM

Trojan: Oh Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

ike raoul

February 25, 2009 6:44 PM

This borders on irresponsible. I mean, really, you're just going to ignore the pregame set up spot that made this possible? The long form that was on the web, too, with variations of other 1-sec executions to pre-sell the actual event? That's not only unfair to the Miller team that did all the strategic and creative work leading up to this bold move, it's disingenous in leading readers to think all they have to do is run one 1-second spot in isolation to achieve these kinds of results.

Oh, and Eric, you wish! ;-)

David Tubbs

February 27, 2009 4:57 AM

Concept: eco-friendly and/or wallet-friendly auto manufacturer

Shot 1: guy gets out of car to pump gas

Shot 2: camera records gallons pumped and total cost being displayed on pump. Indicator clearly shows it's more or less a full tank, at whatever the average going rate is for gas.

Shot 3: Guy flashes a big smile (think Orbit gum commercial style smile with a twinkle).

In order to cut down on commercial time, you could even fit the 4 frames into one movie frame.

Initially, I thought the only brands being able to pull something off like this would be those with high visibility and penetration ratios. Now, I'm having my doubts. I think could transition from fad to trend. Here's why:

1: MTV effect: Shorter is better (this is true in music videos, film, and logically: advertising.

2. Broadcaster revenue: Less money per ad, but more overall revenues by leveraging a 10-25% increase for shots under 30 seconds.

3. Reduced advertising budget: Advertisers accomplish the same goal: penetration and visibility.

4. Secondary effect from MTV style shooting: Higher rate of viewers (hey, we're all jobless, let's see what's on tv today...) = increased revenue = increased brand awareness

I think this could definitely become a win-win deal for everybody. More importantly, viewers might not view these types of ads as interruption marketing. Result: everyone, including the viewers, are happy.


March 17, 2009 5:36 PM

How much does it cost to make a Ford Commercial clip for 30 seconds?

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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