Old Milwaukee Beer and Funny Or Die put Will Ferrell in a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl, only to seen in the North Platte, Nebraska market.  No doubt, the move was made to buy a cheaper Super Bowl ad.  But the unusual nature of the ad and Will Ferrell’s involvement easily turned it into a viral video, one that will be seen by millions before it’s over, and isn’t that why brands buy advertising space during the Super Bowl anyway?  Old Milwaukee turned their commercial into a story all its own, and it was picked up by Deadspin the very next day.

Will Ferrell & Old Milwaukee Create A Viral Super Bowl Sensation For Little Money

It is, of course, a strange ad:

It’s Will Ferrell walking through a field in his boxers and opening a can of Old Milwaukee.  Just as he gets in the middle of the name, he’s cut off.  This is the campaign Old Milwaukee has been running for a couple of months now, featuring Ferrell in different small towns.  The first one was in Davenport, Iowa:

Then he did one in Terre Haute, Indiana:

I’m not sure if the North Platte ad was shot in North Platte or not, but that would be clever.  The North Platte market is a little over 15,000 homes.  But it doesn’t matter, Old Milwaukee had a Will Ferrell ad and the word would get out quickly, and they’d end up getting a huge amount of views without the record-breaking 111.3 million viewers who watched the Super Bowl.  They didn’t spend the $3.5 million that everyone else who advertised nationally did, yet they have an ad that reached a significant audience.

Content wise, it’s not a great commercial.  It’s funny to see Ferrell get cut off mid-pitch, but overall it’s got almost nothing.  Still, due to its unusual delivery and the fact that Ferrell is involved, the ad is extraordinarily effective, and that’s what matters.