Super Bowl marketers can teach a lot about the crafts of brand image and selling. But so can companies that play around the edges of the event. And Skittles is about to do that--with great success--for the second year running.

Last year it was an amazing stunt of having four potential ads, all featuring David Schwimmer, but only one would show during the Super Bowl--and that to a single teenager. Here are the teaser ads:

And a bit more behind the scenes:

Yes, kind of twisted. And it worked so well for the brand that Mars Wrigley, which makes the treats, decided to go a step further: Broadway.

Yes, there will be a 30-minute musical called, as you might expect, "Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical." It starts at 1 p.m. on Feb. 3, 2019..

The writer is Pulitzer-finalist playwright Will Eno. Music and lyrics are from Drew Gasparini and Nathaniel Lawlor. All are working with the agency for Mars Wrigley, DDB Worldwide.

A live band backs a cast of 17--all Broadway vets--and including a celebrity star yet to be named. The theme: consumerism and ubiquitous brand advertising.

Tickets run from $30 to $300 and many are still available for the 1,500-person theater. The money goes to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, with more money, up to $50,000, added by Mars Wrigley.

There will even be a Broadway cast recording.

In other words, yes, this is going to be a real musical of short planned duration. (Although single-performance plays and musicals aren't unknown on Broadway.) People could literally attend, leave, grab a meal, and then still find themselves waiting for the Super Bowl to start.

This is a great example of going the opposite direction when everyone else is marching like a herd of cows. You get a greater chance of being noticed and picking up coverage, plus you're not marketing in a crowded room with so many others.

Is a move like this cheap? Not a chance. But given the enormous costs of producing and airing a Super Bowl spot, you might wonder if a musical could bet the less expensive option.

Published on: Jan 15, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.