An anonymous man’s monthslong effort to use a pricey Super Bowl advertising spot to propose to his girlfriend has fallen through — but the would-be fiance says he isn’t giving up yet.
JP, who hasn’t used his real name so as to keep his plan secret from his girlfriend, has spent countless hours over the last few months trying to secure a 30-second spot on the Super Bowl so he could pop the question.
His effort has drawn national publicity — including from this news organization — and taken JP on a roller-coaster ride through the world of advertising and corporate America.
“I know it’s a labor of love,” he said in an interview with MSNBC.com the day after the Super Bowl, “but it has been a heck of a labor.”
JP’s original plan called for convincing online sympathizers to donate the more than $2 million needed to buy an ad, but he soon realized he was going to fall far short. (He ended up getting about $75,000 in pledges, although most of that money was never sent to him because the ad didn’t air.)
Next, he turned to a publicist and advertising expert to try to win sponsorship for his proposal. The professionals set to work, and it soon looked nearly certain that one of six interested parties would pay up. But even after JP had flown to visit one of the companies and shot an ad, the deals all eventually fell through.
JP, who is between age 25 and 35 and won’t reveal publicly where he lives, admits that was a low point for him.
“I hate to say that I lost a little bit of faith in corporate America, but I felt like I was teased,” he said. “It didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth.”
He declined to say which companies were involved in the negotiations.
Still, JP held out hope — even as the game was being aired — that CBS itself would take up his cause and show a homemade version of the proposal that he had sent to them. He said some people at the network liked his ad, but by halftime it was apparent that they weren’t going to run it.
Still, JP is sticking to his plan for a televised proposal. He has spent $1,000 to buy a 30-second regional spot on Tuesday’s episode of the CW show “Veronica Mars,” which he says is his girlfriend’s favorite show. For another $1,500 the local affiliate agreed to shoot the spot on Monday, he said.
He also hasn’t given up on his effort to garner national attention. JP said he’s still hoping to convince the CW to air his ad nationally, and he is in talks with an entertainment show to air his girlfriend’s response to the proposal.
Despite all the phone calls, trips and other antics, JP said he’s convinced his girlfriend has no idea what’s going on.
He admits the stress of keeping everything secret has taken its toll on him, but JP said he doesn't regret the effort.
“It’s representative of the kind of work that needs to go into a relationship. When I tell her about it, that’s what I want the message to be,” he said.
Still, JP admits that he remains wistful the original Super Bowl plan didn’t work out.
“It would have been something really remarkable,” he said. “It makes for an incredible story, anyway.”