Most product placement for film and TV is done as a trade out, meaning that brands provide products or other assets in exchange for inclusion in the production without any money changing hands. But some are fee-based, meaning money does change hands. The top product placement agencies will all at certain times have to negotiate such fee-based placements on behalf of their clients. ​ ​One way or another, these fees offset the ​cost of production. So, in essence, the brands are co-oping the production as partners, even in the most minor sense. But what if the production is a commercial and the price of production is actually the price of airing said production?

This year commercial spots for the Superbowl cost $4.5 million for thirty seconds​​! Of course that seems ludicrous, but with a primetime network TV commercial during American Idol at its peak costing $475,000, a spot that is expected to reach 115 million specific commercial-watching viewers for $4.5 million doesn’t seem that outrageous.  But it’s still much more than ​most brands can afford. But what if a bunch of brands chip in on one spot? ​ ​Newcastle Ale has done just that.

According to the Chicago Sun Times:

Newcastle Brown Ale raises the product placement bar in a 60-second video that pokes fun at the hype over Super Bowl advertising.

How many products get named in Newcastle’s Band of Brands spot: 38.

“Our goal here is to make history and sell great beer,” said Priscilla Flores Dohnert, brand director for Newcastle Brown Ale. 

“Not only did we create the world’s first crowdfunded Big Game ad, but I’m pretty sure we just made the cheapest Big Game ad ever,” Dohnert said. “By asking other brands to team up with our brand we are making a statement that Big Game advertising should be accessible to everyone, whether they can afford it or not.”

While the spot could have been more elegantly staged, the point is well made; the inclusion of multiple brands in a production can serve the dual purposes of offsetting production costs and showcasing the brands in a way that entertains.

Here’s the ad. Judge for yourself:   http://youtu.be/MaqRwWwXau0