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AMVETS 'Please Stand' ad will run during Super Bowl LII, but on an app

Patrick Varine
| Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, 2:57 p.m.

The AMVETS' “Please Stand” advertisement, encouraging citizens to stand during the playing of the national anthem at sporting events, may have been rejected by the NFL for inclusion in the Super Bowl LII program.

But several million people will have a chance to see the ad campaign thanks to a partnership with a Florida-based technology company.

React is beta-testing its new “Super Squares” app, a free-to-play, live game-show app that operates during commercial breaks of live football games, quizzing users with questions about the football game they're watching as well as the ads that run on the app.

Initially tested during the Jan. 21 NFC championship game and the Jan. 28 Pro Bowl, it will now be active during Super Bowl LII with $50,000 and a new car up for grabs as prizes.

“The real challenge in TV advertising is reaching viewers who skip or ignore ads,” said React founder Frank Maggio. “With smart phones in the hands of over 80 percent of TV viewers, it's just too easy to look away during breaks. This game solves that problem by transforming advertising into a fun game where people win real prizes and brands get the engagement they crave.”

It also gives AMVETS a chance to get its message out to more than 4.2 million people.

“We thought it killed two birds with one stone,” Maggio said. “First, the software platform is really the only way to reach people with a commercial that's not actually airing as part of the Super Bowl (broadcast). And the people on our staff feel it's a valuable message to get out. It's sort of our version of a (public-service announcement).”

The app's reach is not nationwide because it awards cash prizes to participants, and Florida gaming regulations limit winners to a seven-county eligibility area.

The ad campaign is also available to view on the AMVETS national website.

Maggio said he respects the NFL's right to choose its advertising partners and messages, but that “we're equally honored to live in a country where organizations like AMVETS have the freedom to choose other mass media outlets to get their respectful apolitical message out. It is powerfully simple and inclusive.”

AMVETS' 30-second “#PleaseStand” ad encourages citizens not just to rise for the country's anthem, but also to engage in other civic pursuits such as voting and volunteering.

The commercial will be aired Sunday on the Super Squares app during halftime at the Super Bowl.

For more on the app, visit SuperSquares.com.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

Above, a portion of the AMVETS ad submitted for inclusion the NFL's Super Bowl LII program. The NFL opted to reject the ad.
AMVETS
Above, a portion of the AMVETS ad submitted for inclusion the NFL's Super Bowl LII program. The NFL opted to reject the ad.
Above, the AMVETS ad submitted for inclusion the NFL's Super Bowl LII program. The NFL opted not to include the ad.
AMVETS
Above, the AMVETS ad submitted for inclusion the NFL's Super Bowl LII program. The NFL opted not to include the ad.
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