Super Bowl case study: Loctite gambles entire year’s budget on one ad

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Straight from out of left field, Loctite's first-ever Super Bowl ad succeeded in getting people to talk about the brand. The 52-year old glue brand spent its entire annual budget on one Super Bowl commercial- priced at $4.5m for a 30 second slot. This case study looks at whether the gamble paid off.

Case study summary

• Loctite follows Tipp-Ex formula by making ‘boring’ product cool with offbeat and funny video to stand out from the crowd

• Gambles entire year’s budget on one $4.5m superbowl ad with #winwithglue hashtag and ‘party’ website link- big risk for brand with just $41m in sales

• Ad proves a big hit on Twitter and plenty of earned media coverage on news and social media, but can extra reach translate into sales?

The challenge

Loctite is hardly a sexy brand, but has remained a well-known glue maker for over 5 decades. As its customer base changes, how could it maintain its branding to a new generation of digital savvy kids that have never used Super Glue?

The brand's budget was limited. Loctite only spent an estimated $4 million in total on measured media during each of the last two years, Kantar Media estimates and the brand's entire sales were only $41 million for the 52 weeks that ended October 5 2014.

Hiring a new agency, Loctite launched the #WinAtGlue campaign in May 2014 with a number of high-profile TV ad placements. The ads involved a series of videos ending with the "famous" Loctite Dance, a viral video garnering more than 1.3 million views since it was released May.

The Minneapolis ad agency Fallon then made the pitch for the ‘Positive Feelings’ video more than a year ago. Would its new client, gluemaker Loctite, be interested in a first-ever Super Bowl ad?

“We wanted to look at that category differently. Why not do it on the market’s biggest stage?” said Chris Lawrence, Fallon’s director of account management. “It’s all about doing the right thing.” With little hesitation, the Ohio-based maker of Super Glue agreed, even though the $4.5 million price tag for 30 seconds of broadcast time dwarfed its previous advertising budgets for an entire year. “This is where Loctite can get the level of engagement and conversation that it deserves,” said Pierre Tannoux, Loctite marketing director.

The solution

The super glue brand's spot featured a variety of people in fanny packs (known in the UK as bum bags) dancing and using Loctite to fix things.

At the end, a couple deadpans: "Loctite saved our marriage." The ad managed to win big on Twitter by playing to the Internet's collective fondness for all things offbeat. The YouTube version of the ad invited users to start their own Loctite party, with links to the brand site and the hashtag #winatglue.


The ad got plenty of buzz on Twitter, an attracted further media coverage for its bold gamble to invest its entire yearly media budget into one ad.

But only time will tell if the 4.5m investment will help increase sales for Loctite- and prove that the Super Bowl and real-time marketing is still a valid investment for brands.

This video from Ad Age investigates the true value of a Super Bowl ad in 2015.

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