The Black Eyed Peas Worked for Free: Should You?
In 2010, The Black Eyed Peas made an estimated 81.6 million dollars from touring, but they didn’t make a dime for their performance at yesterday’s Super Bowl. Why not? Unlike The Blues Brothers, they didn’t lose their fee on a big bar bill, they simply agreed to play for free in the first place.
As preposterous as that may sound, a new article at Forbes.com points out that the Super Bowl halftime acts traditionally work for free in return for the exposure. (Insert Janet Jackson joke here.) Last year, the Super Bowl brought in 106.5 million viewers and this year is on track to break records. So what is 106.5 million eyeballs worth? For advertisers such as Pepsi, Doritos and Carmax, it was around 3 million for every 30 seconds. Imagine if the Peas had bought an ad equal to their time on stage.
Now you could argue, and some will, that the less than stellar half-time performance didn’t help sell any records but I assure you, it did. I pushed the button on iTunes. They were selling the whole half-time show for $10.00 and I can’t have too many versions of “Pump it” on my ipod.
The artists who work sans performance fee, do receive a check to cover their travel expenses and the cost of putting on the show. And just think about the added cost to the stadium’s electric bill!
The marketing mavens Forbes contacted for their article felt that the exposure at the Super Bowl made it supremely worth working for free. But does that ever work out for the average Joe?
Peruse the writer job ads on Craigslist and you’ll find a large portion of them pay in “exposure.” Unfortunately, my landlord won’t accept me driving around with his name on my car in return for the rent. But certainly, there are occasions where it makes sense to give your time or your product without any monetary return.
The question is, what’s your Super Bowl? Is there any occasion where the exposure for your company would be worth giving up a fee? Or is it more often a case of you get what you pay for?