Salesforce.com scores SuperBowl marketing touchdownby
The Superbowl is the time of year when media buyers compete to secure the most expensive slots on US network television. Back in 1984, Apple Computer caused a stir when it aired a startling commercial based on George Orwell's novel 1984 to introduce the Macintosh computer to an unsuspecting general public.
Widely regarded as one of the most successful pieces of television advertising – particularly from a technology firm – the commercial is reputed to have catapulted Apple into the mainstream consciousness. Fast forward to 2011 and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff set out to pull off a 1984-style trick as the Cloud Computing firm aired two animated commercials – immediately before and after half time at the SuperBowl in what may be the firm's boldest – and most expensive? - marketing gambit to date as it promotes its new Chatter.com offering.
The animated commercials were developed in association with will.i.am – front man for the Black Eyes Peas, the band that will be performing during the halftime at the SuperBowl. will.i.am wrote and directed the commercial which features the “Baby Peas,” a group of animated characters that we will see again in later campaigns as well as “Chatty, the magical cloud,”, a Salesforce.com creation best known for dancing around on stage at Salesforce.com events. The animated version of Will.I.Am will walk out of the commercial just as the real world version comes on stage to perform.
It was a bold gambit and one that carries a “big numbers” price tag of course – a 30 second slot at the SuperBowl can set you back a cool $3 million a pop. It was also delivered in remarkably short period of time, as Benioff disclosed in his blog:
But determination didn't make the challenge any the less:
The various members of the creative team were scattered around the globe, working collaboratively in the Cloud.