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A Look at How Much a $4 Million TV Spot Boosts Web Traffic

Records set during big game
  • February 6, 2014, 4:10 PM EST
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Illustration by Mitch Blunt

It was a game that smashed multiple records. This year's showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos topped charts on several fronts, from the quickest score from the beginning of the game (12 seconds) to the most money bet by fans ($119 million) and the most viewers overall (111.5 million).

It was a record for advertisers, too, as new data shows. In between the turnovers and touchdowns, the 72 brands that trotted out 112 commercials witnessed a huge boost in traffic to their websites. This proves that the second-screen audience did more during the game than just post to Twitter and Facebook. 



Adobe Digital Index found that the $4 million spots boosted visits to advertisers' websites at an average of 163% above their normal daily traffic. That's a 15 percent increase over last year (see graphic at right).

Like its "Strike" ad suggested, Maserati took on the titans of traditional advertisers. Juxtaposing the voice of a child with images of tidal waves and tornados, the ad debuted the Ghibli, the brand's first car to be priced south of $100,000. Right after it aired in the first quarter of the game, searches for the sports car featured in that ad went up 4,250 percent according to Kelley Blue Book (, handily besting other luxury car brands such as Jaguar and Audi. The automaker itself also experienced an increase in searches that temporarily overwhelmed its dedicated microsite,

Kia was a big winner over at The online repository for comparison car shopping reported that Kia's Matrix-inspired "The Truth" ad for its K900 full-size luxury sedan pushed Web traffic up by 7,100 percent compared to its monthly average. 



Much of that traffic was likely generated from smartphones. Findings from Adobe Digital Index indicate that total smartphone visits during last week's game increased by over 110 percent year-over-year. Tablets reigned as the device of choice, though. Adobe data discovered that traffic from tablet peaked during the game at 19 percent while smartphones held steady around 14 percent. 



Tapping second screens didn't stop after the clock ran out on the fourth quarter. Among the brands that opted to air their ads post game, Esurance scored a big digital win with its ad. The company touted its savings—30 percent, or $1.5 million—which they then offered to give away in an exclusive Twitter sweepstakes.

The result? Viewers still clutching their devices posted more than three million tweets tagged #EsuranceSave30; 200,000 of those came in the first minute.

It wasn't just a momentary flash, though. Esurance's agency, Leo Burnett, reported that the campaign was still trending on Monday and received 1 billion online impressions, suggesting that mobile devices were still driving the brand experience long after the last fan left the stadium.