I almost shudder to type the words “Super Bowl” this week.
As anyone with a background in advertising or marketing knows all too well, the NFL does not take kindly to folks using that term in their advertising unless they’ve paid the league for the right to do so. The Los Angeles Rams might have a ferocious pass rush, but it is nothing compared to the pack of NFL lawyers just waiting to be sent on an all-out blitz if a wayward grocery store or big-screen television emporium tries to entice customers with mention of the copyrighted Super Bowl.
A while back, a copywriter named Anne McCall decided to take a stab at coming up with some names marketers could use when trying to sell snacks, televisions or anything else that might appeal to fans gathering on Sunday evening to watch The Game that Cannot Be Named.
The Big Game – If you’ve watched many local commercials leading up to the Super Bowl, you know this is the tried and true standby. The Big Game, the Big Game on Sunday or the Ultimate Big Game (coined by my friend Jerry Shell) will certainly keep you from being the tallest blade of grass in danger of drawing the attention of NFL lawyers.
On the other hand, it won’t allow you to stand out from the crowd. If you are among the bold, forward-thinking business owners who want to stand out, then read on.
The Pigskin Showdown – This has a more dramatic flair and will certainly appeal to the carnivores out there who are putting more thought into which animals to chuck into their Big Green Egg than the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams playing. If you sell beef, pork or chicken by the truckload, this is your pitch.
The Un-Super Plate – The perfect name for advertisers who want to say the exact opposite of the phrase that will get them in trouble just for the sake of being ironic. This is an ideal pitch for those peddling hummus and hard seltzer to the hipsters who tell anyone within earshot that they don’t know anything about football and are just watching for the commercials and the halftime show.
Live Ball War: The Game – This cinematic spin is for anyone targeting the large portion of the population taking a night off from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to watch some football. These folks will spend most of the night comparing the battle between Los Angeles’ Von Miller and Cincinnati’s offensive line to a clash between Thor’s Hammer and Captain America’s shield. The debate over which is stronger will extend well into the second half.
At any rate, these are folks who will buy giant televisions and expensive sound systems from you.
A Contest of Helmets and Strategy – In short, this is how you reach the nerds. If you’re thinking that nerds don’t watch football, you’ve never played fantasy football. Every league has a nerd who wins on the strength of an algorithm he or she made from scratch.
Anyway, they’ll watch the Super, um, I mean the Big Game in order to calibrate their algorithm before next season. So you might as well use this pitch to sell them a lot of advanced computer equipment.