Kentucky Tries To Reach The Super Bowl

Would-be marketers, big and small, are always looking for some big TV impact, hopefully in the middle of the biggest event in television, the Super Bowl. Many have the wherewithal, only to be rejected for content issues.

Others lack the basics, so they resort to Plan B.

Seemingly, the great state of Kentucky now has the first problem, looking to fund a big $3.5 million for  30 seconds worth of prime television viewer attention during the Super Bowl on NBC come this February.

Many TV marketers make big statements and get publicity in attempting to buy into the Super Bowl with sometimes rough content -- only to be rejected by the TV network running the game. Then comes the angry press release.The family-oriented NFL, which lords over the Super Bowl, routinely rejects spots from the likes of the city of Las Vegas because of its association with you-know-what.



For years, GoDaddy, the Internet name-selling website, has made a business of this content rejection in Super Bowl marketing. Political organizations touting certain advocacy advertising have been rejected as well.

Kentucky will probably have no such problems in that arena. But it has a long ways to go, only getting to $100,000 after virtually two months of fund raising. The "Kentucky for Kentucky" campaign needs $5 million -- $3.5 million to buy a spot from NBC, plus, I'm guessing, another $1.5 million for actual TV commercial production. 

The effort wants to tout some of the state’s bigger tourist interests, claiming invention of bourbon, bluegrass music and fried chicken (Really, the entire state is the inventor? Who knew?)  And, of course, it’s home of the biggest-name horse racing event, the Kentucky Derby. The group would also let you know about its natives: Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Hunter S. Thompson, Muhammad Ali, Diane Sawyer, Loretta Lynn and the Judds.

While it is pushing for average citizens to get on board, it would like to get some really big $250,000 sponsor deals for the Super Bowl spot. For that, the group’s website says, "your brand will receive millions of dollars worth of product placement, press, buzz, Kentucky love, and the opportunity to be a part of some epicness." 

Who is behind this? Not the state's chamber of commerce but Kentuckians, in and out of the state, who are advertising executives.

Not everyone likes the idea.  One social media comment, from "Smotpoker":

"Why does Kentucky need a Super Bowl commercial? It seems like a 30-second national TV spot is a huge waste of money. Surely there are a lot better ways to spend 5 million dollars supporting your state. Build parks, feed the homeless, clothe orphans, whatever.

"Hell, even regional commercials would probably be a better investment, at least target it towards people in driving distance. How many regional commercials could you run for 5 million dollars versus one 30 second commercial nationally?"

Nice to know there are some savvy paid-media types around. 

Says another, "Nerdshark":  "This is just an advertising stunt to get people talking, and it is working."

Hmmm...  maybe that is worth around $100,000 for two months worth of work.  Though at it for 53 days, the group has given itself another seven days to pull in another $3.4 million through Kickstarter, a website for funding projects.

One thing for sure: NBC, as far as we can tell, likes the good citizens of Kentucky. But   philanthropy isn't part of its Super Bowl advertising game plan.

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