The Best $3 Million Never Spent on a Super Bowl Commercial

At more than $3 million for 30 seconds of air time, one wonders if the investment in Super Bowl advertising is worth it. How about not spending a penny on airing a Super Bowl spot but getting brand exposure anyway? That scenario describes what has happened to, an online dating site for gay men. CBS rejected the Toronto-based site's proposed Super Bowl spot, citing concerns that the ad did not fit the tone of programming for Super Bowl Sunday. CBS also said it could not verify the prospective advertiser's creditworthiness.

Is the commercial too much for Super Bowl Sunday? You can decide by watching the spot. Another question to decide for yourself: did really intend to spend $3 million to air a commercial? My theory is that the company knew the ad would not pass the CBS "taste test." But, by submitting the ad for review and indicating an interest in being an advertiser, is receiving extensive publicity. Cost: not $3 million! Sometimes, it pays to not spend marketing dollars.

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