[By Léa Salameh]

As the Super Bowl is the most watched TV broadcast in the U.S., reaching over 100 million people, it should come as no surprise that brands will fight for a commercial spot during the game. Even though Fox charged between $5 million and $5.5 million for a 30-second ad during this year’s game, the TV network sold 90 per cent of its commercial slots by December 2016.

Heinz, however, might have just set a new trend for corporations to follow in upcoming years.

A few days before game day, Heinz launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign to petition for the Monday after the Super Bowl to be made a national holiday. So far, the petition has received 59,559 signatures. Regardless of the outcome, Heinz’s salaried employees are already enjoying this privilege.

By choosing not to run a Super Bowl ad, the food-producing giant saved at least $5 million dollars, which doesn’t even include the cost of creating the ad itself. Call it a smart business decision, as Heinz was undoubtedly able to reach a huge audience through the “Smunday” campaign by appealing to American’s desire for comfort with the notion of “never settling”.

Statistics show over 16 million people call in sick or just don’t show up to work,” on the Monday after the Super Bowl. “And for those that do, productivity plummets so far that the country loses on average around $1 billion.”

Heinz used Twitter to promote its campaign with the #SMUNDAY and #NeverSettle hashtags, which is a great strategy given that we live in this age of social media.

Source: Twitter

The iconic Ketchup maker has gained significant publicity since the campaign launched. Only time will tell if this creative approach to increasing brand awareness is a more cost-effective method than advertising when it comes to reaching audiences.

(Photo by Heinz Ketchup via Twitter)