The coveted Super Bowl advertisements can cost a pretty penny. Approximately $4 million per ad. The Super Bowl is not the type of advertising venue you would expect to see any small business advertising, in fact broadcast television is hardly a hot-spot for small business, but software provider Intuit has created a contest called the Small Business Big Game offering small businesses a chance to win an advertising slot in the next Super Bowl. Of the many small businesses who’ve entered the contest, the most intriguing, by far, has to be the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Each contestant is encouraged to tell their story where other users will then vote on those they believe most deserving of the Super Bowl spot. This is NORML’s story shared on Intuit’s website:
“Together, we the people, are ending the US war on pot. With the last election and with the recent announcement from the attorney general in Washington DC, we are beautifully positioned to make sure a responsible, adult American citizen is never again arrested for enjoying the beauties of recreational marijuana.
But this doesn’t just happen. Please take a moment of your time to support our campaign to bring the message of legalization to the masses with this Super Bowl Ad.
Together, we WILL legalize marijuana.”
A few days ago NORML announced they were in first place in the contest. This is, however, only the first round and while it appears as if NORML will go into the next round, it will be Intuit employees voting on who the four finalists will be. It is unclear what Intuit employees think of the legality of marijuana, but in February of 2011, Intuit revoked services for a medical marijuana clinic in Oregon, claiming it was an “unacceptable business practice”, in spite of the fact that medical marijuana in Oregon is legal.
The times, however, they-are-a-changin’ and in a recent statement about the subject Intuit had this to say:
“We have no stance on medical marijuana as a company. By design, we’ve had a diverse range of businesses entering Small Business Big Game and sharing their unique stories with the world.”
It’s doubtful that NORML’s entry into Intuit’s contest was by “design”, but perhaps they have a chance after all. In regards to NORML’s chances of winning and airing an ad during the Super Bowl, the executive director of NORML, Allen St. Pierre said this:
“We’re hoping that, like other corporate-won contests in the past, we don’t fall victim of political correctness. But our goal is more about generating buzz and conversation. We acknowledge that one of our major failings over the years has been our marketing. So this was an easy contest to be attracted to.”
The times they are a changing, indeed.