Calahan still planning clever Super Bowl Sunday ads—even if you’re not watching

Louisiana football fans still disgusted by the “no call” in the Jan. 20 NFC Championship game that, arguably, cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to Super Bowl LIII may be planning to boycott Sunday’s game.

But local injury attorney Spencer Calahan still plans to run his trademark 5-second ads on WAFB, WWL in New Orleans and KLFY in Lafayette before and during the big game. In fact, he plans to have a little fun with what is still a sore subject in Saints country.

“We couldn’t do what we really wanted to do because there just isn’t enough time in five seconds and it would have required some serious Hollywood editing,” Calahan says. “But we are going to poke fun at the ‘no call’ and there will be some flags involved. That’s all I can say without giving it away.”

It’s been nearly 10 years since Calahan began airing the short Super Bowl Sunday spots, technically known as “bumps” and must, per FCC regulations, identify the station by its call letters. In his spots, Calahan manages to brand his firm and the station ID almost in the same breath. He says it’s been an effective ad buy.

“We don’t say what we do in the spots, there’s no phone number on the screen and there’s no call to action,” he says. “It is literally just branding. But it works because people see us and then recognize us from the other ads we do.”

But will people see them this year, given the lingering anger towards the NFL and the threats of a “boycott bowl?”

“The Super Bowl has always been the highest viewed program in any market,” says David Peterson, whose Zone Marketing does Callahan’s ads and first conceived of the spots. “I don’t see where that’s going to change too much this year.”

Besides, adds Calahan: “It’s just another excuse to have a party.”