How Some Companies Get Free Superbowl Advertising Author: Luke Kupersmith
February 10, 2016

As CEO of a logistics agency (Lojistic) I am continually looking for new, unique, creative, and exciting ways to communicate the “sexy” factor of our brand and the solutions we offer. Not easy, given the palpable “un-sexiness” of the transportation and logistics industry. Nonetheless, we, just like virtually every business in existence, are strategically and wistfully looking for more brand exposure. We’re marketers in the logistics biz.

As a marketer, business owner, executive and/or generally vested employee of any company, there would likely be a spark of excitement to see your brand unexpectedly appear in someone else’s TV commercial, on a freeway billboard, gracing the side of a city bus or bizarrely imprinted on some random dude’s business card and website. Yes please, to all of the above.

But no brand could ever realistically hope for all of that. It would/could never happen without purposed intent. Additionally, it would be straight stupid to let one’s mind wander to such possibilities without a sobering consideration of how many fat checks would need to be cut.

Reality: The unintentional and unexpected brand exposure mentioned above does in fact happen for a select few… and at no cost. Everyday. Everywhere around the world. In all the ways mentioned and countless others. There are several well-known brands that get all that exposure for free as a result of nearly every company’s standard marketing strategy. I’m incredibly jealous.

Over the past decade or so, millions of businesses have come to depend upon the social platforms of companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google to communicate their marketing efforts and brand promotion. At this point it's a rarity to encounter a “socially virgin” business. Social media has become a fundamental marketing channel for businesses of all types and size.

As companies around the globe have become dependent on social marketing they, in turn, tout their social presence in other marketing collateral (e.g. TV ads, billboards, biz cards, email signatures, etc) by featuring the names and/or logos of the key social media platforms that they leverage. It has become so commonplace to see a Facebook logo in the footer/header of a business’s website that people, myself included, completely overlook the consequential benefit of it for Facebook, etc.

As I write this post, there are five browser windows open in the background on my computer. One of the windows features my own company’s website. Every single website in each of the open windows, mine included, predominately displays the logos of two or more of the leading social platforms.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google (and several other social networks) have somehow accomplished the most remarkable referral-esque marketing feat of all-time. As a consequence of the value prop that these social platforms offer to their business users, virtually every company around the world has effectively become a marketer for them and we, myself included, are picking up the tab related to the effort.

There’s no real ‘moral to the story’ here. Just deep respect and pure marketing envy. I would love for my brand to benefit from a free presence in other brand’s marketing collateral. Who wouldn’t? Imagine if all your users/customers/clients were naturally compelled to incorporate your company’s logo in all of their marketing collateral?!

Shoot, I’d happily settle for our logo to be displayed in the homepage footer of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. Seemingly unintentional branding brilliance on the part of the social fab four. My marketer hat is off to you guys. Well done.

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