February 3, 2006 12:19 PM PST
Super Bowl ads go online
But for every "Terry Tate the Office Linebacker" ad--a 2002 hit for Reebok sneakers--there are dozens that no one remembers. This year, with advertisers such as Bayer, Cadillac, MasterCard, Motorola, Pizza Hut, Sprint, Unilever and Warner Bros. spending as much $2.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime, according to Ad Age magazine, many are turning to the Web and mobile devices to get the most out of their superpricey Super Bowl spots.
Knowing that people often go straight to a search engine to get more information on the book, movie or product they just saw in a commercial, many of the advertisers are snapping up keywords related to their commercials on the search sites, re-airing the ads on their Web sites or creating so-called microsites they hope will tap in to interest created by the game-time ads.
Soap maker Dove, which is running its first-ever Super Bowl commercial, is buying keywords like "Real Beauty," in reference to new ads that send the message that beauty is more than skin deep, said Ron Belanger, Yahoo search marketing senior director of global advertising strategies.
"Half of the Super Bowl advertisers are buying search-supported material, up about 100 percent from last year," Belanger said.
Burger King has a commercial during the Super Bowl for the first time in 11 years and will be directing people to a new microsite, a narrow and specific landing page on its Web site,
In addition to Burger King buying keywords such as "Whopperettes," "Burger King" and "Super Bowl commercials," the company will make the ad available on Google Video, Smith said.
Keyword purchases and microsites are all the rage, said Patrick Keane, head of ad sales strategy at Google. "I would be shocked if less than 80 percent of the ads in the game have URLs," he said.
Last year, Honda saw an estimated 1,000 percent increase in search referrals after it launched its Ridgeline truck in a Super Bowl commercial, said Mike Margolin, associate media director for the RPA ad agency, which represents American Honda. The truck "was in the press, and folks that were car and truck enthusiasts knew about it, but the average consumer was not aware of it at all," he said. "Ad agencies are getting smarter about how to get that $2.5 million to work for them."
To tease its Super Bowl commercial, CareerBuilder.com has been sending e-mails to customers using its new Monk-e-Mail service on the Web site. Monk-e-Mail lets people send personalized messages featuring monkeys like those the company used in its Super Bowl ads a year ago. The company also has purchased keywords related to its ads, such as "monkey ads."
For the Internet-based job search company, the Super Bowl ad is seen as an adjunct to its online efforts, not the other way around as it is for most of the advertisers.
"We're using the Super Bowl experience to broaden brand experience and to further drive traffic to our online activities," said Richard Castellini, vice president of consumer marketing for CareerBuilder.com. "The Super Bowl is like the cherry on top of our online (activities). It's an expensive cherry. Don't get me wrong."
But it's paid off. Brand awareness for CareerBuilder.com increased by 50 percent after the company ran its Super Bowl ads last year, and
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