Web Helps Keep Bowl Buzz Alive

In the aftermath of dropping an average of $3 million per 30 seconds, Super Bowl advertisers hope to translate that into online buzz.
For some advertisers that do business online, driving users to their sites is paramount. GoDaddy, as in years past, used its spots to tease salacious endings at GoDaddy.com, where it sells Internet domain addresses. Other online businesses running spots during the game include Cash4Gold.com, Cars.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com.
For E*Trade, the ultimate measure of its success is driving traffic to its site — and getting people to sign up for accounts, according to Nicholas Utton, chief marketing officer at E*Trade. Last year, E*Trade saw a 32 percent lift in new accounts compared to the average week during the year, he said.
“We feel comfortable that this one spot will be worth the dollars in context with the plan,” Utton said. “You can’t measure it on its own.”
For other brands, extending the life of their precious Super Bowl investments involve driving users to a microsite. Gatorade, as part of its “G” rebranding effort, drove users to a new site, www.missionG.com. It houses several videos starring Gatorade endorsers.
There were some misses, however. Hyundai’s first spot, plugging the Genesis coupe, drove users to www.edityourown.com, a site that wasn’t functioning. Later in the game, the site worked, although the section devoted to the coupe did not. Denny’s had site problems throughout the game.
“Those are the kinds of things you’re supposed to prep and QA for,” said Josh Stylman, managing partner of Reprise Media, a digital shop that rated advertisers’ online integration efforts.
Advertisers also went for high-profile media buys to help sustain interest. CareerBuilder.com plans a Facebook ad campaign this week that will show its Super Bowl commercial and ask users to vote on their worst job situation. (CareerBuilder.com’s spot shows awful job situations.) It follows a pre-game push on the social network last week that used Facebook’s new polling ad unit to ask which teams users thought would win the game.
Pepsi bought some pricey placements to promote its Super Bowl spots. It corralled the home page ad unit on YouTube for its “Refresh Anthem” spot featuring top artists remaking Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.” Pepsi is also running an ad on Yahoo’s home page directing users to refresheverything.com to view its spot.
For more cost-conscious advertisers, search placements were the trick. Sprint is driving users to its getworkdonenow.com site to watch its Super Bowl spot when they type “super bowl” into Google. Other marketers have joined Sprint in competing for clicks to “super bowl ads.” Teleflora, Audi, CareerBuilder.com, Castrol, E*Trade, Cars.com and Pedigree are all running text placements tied to the term.
“There’s more thought and organizational alignment to facilitate cross-channel execution, and the economy plays a factor,” said Stylman. “Companies are expected to do more with less. You need to be able to amplify your message as best you can.”