When people talk about ads at the Super Bowl, they usually mean those TV campaigns that big brands (including tech companies) pay millions of dollars for. But AdSemble is giving startups an opportunity for free Super Bowl advertising of a different kind — on a digital billboard near the event itself.
AdSemble aims to simplify the process of advertising on digital billboards and for this year’s Super Bowl, it’s created a special promotion for placing ads on 50 billboards around the San Francisco Bay Area. One of those billboards runs along the offramp from Highway 101 to Levi’s Stadium (where the Super Bowl will take place), and that’s where AdSemble will let one startup advertise without charge.
To participate, you just fill out a form with your contact information and your “unique origin story.” CEO Matthew Olivieri and his team will choose the winner based on that origin story (bonus points if you’re bootstrapped, like AdSemble), and their ad will get shown on that billboard at least once every 10 minutes on the big day.
So, okay, it doesn’t quite have the glamour of being broadcast into millions of homes across the United States, but Olivieri said it’ll still be seen by plenty of drivers passing by, and it’ll run alongside ads from big companies: “It’s a cool way to be put on the map.”
Of course, a competition like this also raises the sometimes thorny question of how you define a startup. AdSemble is going for simplicity. To enter, your company just has to be five years old or less — even though that would actually disqualify AdSemble itself, which Olivieri described as “a nine-year-old startup.”