Bank of America restoring faith in Super Bowl mania
4th February, 2014
Ah, the Super Bowl – the time of the year that makes little to no difference to my life, apart from on Monday, whenAdweek provides us with the glory of the previous evening’s ad-off; with the added bonus of no touchdowns in between.
This year, we bore witness to a Clydesdale horse falling in love with a puppy and (to many people’s dismay) another showing of Bob Dylan selling a car. Dylan sticking it to the man aside, the ad that struck me most was that of Bank of America. The Bank used its prized slot as an opportunity to launch the company’s partnership withAIDS charity (RED). The 60 second slot showcased U2 with the release of their first track in 5 years, ‘Invisible’ and directed fans to download the track for free off iTunes for 24 hours after the ad’s airing, with Bank of America donating $1 for every download (up to $2 million).
The showcasing of this partnership leads perfectly from the piece Patrick Nally wrote last week for #Synergy30. Within the article, Nally makes the crucial argument that for the sponsorship industry to progress, it ‘needs to be directly involved in the debate and examination of the relationships between sports and the worlds of commerce, education, technology, governments and politics and society in general.’ For me, this 60 second ad did just that. The Super Bowl had the world at their feet on Sunday (well, until the second half) and granted Bank of America, U2 and (RED) a platform not only to gain global exposure, but to raise awareness and funds for the charity.
What is emphasised through this partnership is the endless opportunity for corporates to use sponsorship/advertising at global sporting events as a platform for greater good. Through the ad slot, over 3 million free downloads were purchased on iTunes – reaching the $2 million mark within hours, encouraging Bank of America to continue donating further into the night. Such an overwhelming response to this partnership emphasises the influence corporates, global sporting events and even aging Irish rock stars can generate when given the right opportunity. Of course, the Super Bowl is at the highest end of the spectrum, but what we need now is for more rights holders to offer platforms that can facilitate these partnerships, and for sponsors to recognise the undeniable value in them.