Super Bowl ad to feature Chicago baseball card shop

January 26, 2010 10:03:31 AM PST
Small businesses can't afford the multimillion-dollar cost of commercials broadcast during the Super Bowl. But a Chicago baseball card shop is getting a free mention.Super Bowl ads not only are the most watched commercials on television but they are also the most analyzed. And they get plenty of free publicity from media coverage. So being asked to be part of the ad for the Miller-Coors company, headquartered in Chicago, was like winning the lottery for the owner of a small North Side business.

Since the launch three years ago of the ad campaign, the Miller High Life delivery truck driver has become a well-known character. But this year, the delivery guy just gets a bit part, while the stars of the ad include four small business owners from around the country. Tim Herron, owner of Tim's Baseball Card Shop in Lincoln Square, is one of them.

"I'm just a small business guy. I'm the only one that works there. My mom helps me out on the weekends. So we'll see how big it gets," said Herron. "Anybody that went to the shoot, it's been really special."

Miller debuted outtakes from the ad at a small party at their Chicago headquarters Monday night. No one gets to see the finished product until it airs during the Super Bowl where it will be among the most expensive and most watched commercials in television.

"A lot of the smaller businesses aren't getting the help. So we wanted to use our 30 seconds to actually help out small businesses," said Joe Abegg, Miller High Life brand manager.

Herron works seven days a week at his store buying and selling sports memorabilia. He says he got a call out of the blue one day asking him if he wanted to be in the ad. He immediately said yes.

"When I went to the commercial I said, 'what do you guys want me to do?' They said,' be you,'" said Herron.

"There's a lot of nonsense ads out there about talking babies and dancing monkeys and different things. We just wanted to be just a true High Life commercial that gives it back to the guys that live it every day," said Abegg.

Miller's brand manager says the company searched the Internet and Chambers of Commerce to come up with the businesses they feature. The owners basically wrote their own lines for the commercial.