Super Bowl Ads: Pick Up Sales by Letting the Big Boys Battle It Out

Even if your company can't advertise during the big game, your big competitors can still help you get noticed.

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By Brian Twomey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As many entrepreneurs know, launching a new product can be tricky. Several factors come into play when attempting to propel your product to compete with established, big budget brands, and advertising is a huge one. This week, we're approaching the ultimate advertising opportunity, which captures the attention of millions of Americans and keeps them talking for weeks: Super Bowl ads.

While most new, small businesses don't have the budget to advertise at the Super Bowl -- this year's ads are expected to ring in at around $4 million -- the truth is they might not need to. Big budget ads created by your competitors can actually work to your advantage.

Coke and Pepsi have faced off in iconic Super Bowl ads for years (with SodaStream also entering the fray). This year, Greek yogurt takes center stage with a "battle of the taste buds" featuring Chobani and Yoplait. Chobani, an industry leader with billions of dollars of yogurt sales in 2013, has 39 percent market share. Yoplait has 8 percent, but claims consumers prefer its Greek yogurt. Both brands' Super Bowl advertisements are highly anticipated.

Related: Want Your Ad to Go Viral? Get a TV Network to Ban It.

So what does this mean for smaller Greek yogurt brands such as Three Happy Cows? It presents an opportunity for large-scale recognition. Competitor's big advertisements can help raise awareness for smaller brands in the following ways:

Big ads draw attention to your industry. Last year's Super Bowl attracted an estimated 109 million viewers. That means Greek yogurt advertisements will have America's attention for a few precious minutes, putting a focus on the industry as a whole. When consumers head to the dairy aisle seeking Greek yogurt, they'll also be looking at Three Happy Cows, Brown Cow, Greek Gods and several other brands. Half the battle is getting consumers' eyes on your product!

The media spotlight. To some, Super Bowl advertisements are arguably as entertaining as the game itself. Media pay attention to these ads, ranking and analyzing them. This presents a great opportunity to start a conversation with media about your brand. Highlight what's unique about your product and set yourself apart from the competition.

Related: Super Bowl Season Is a Prime Time for TV Buyers

It gives you a platform to discuss what you have to offer. The buzz created by the Super Bowl is unparalleled. Prominent ads in your industry also provide an opportunity for social conversation. Take to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your company blog to join the conversation around the Big Game.

While big brands spend big money to get their name in the national spotlight, remember there are ways for small brands to join in and ultimately benefit as well. Being part of an industry that is well represented in Super Bowl ads provides a great opportunity, but other large advertising campaigns can also give smaller competitors a chance to get noticed.

Make sure you're aware of what other brands in your industry are doing and take note of what makes your product stand out. This way, you'll be able to capitalize on opportunities to get major recognition for your brand.

Related: Forget $4M Ads, Your Business Can Still Capitalize on the Super Bowl

Brian Twomey
Brian Twomey is director of marketing for Texas-based Three Happy Cows, a Greek and drinkable yogurt company re-launching in Q1 of 2014. Twomey is a veteran of the food and beverage industry, previously working with Yum Brands and Coca-Cola.

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