I know as much about the SuperBowl as US readers know about cricket! Nevertheless I am aware that SuperBowl is the biggest sporting event in the US and advertising during the game is highly expensive - over $2M for a 30 second TV slot. An interesting angle for Web Tech fans is: how well did SuperBowl advertisers integrate their TV and other media ads with their web sites and Internet campaigns? Reprise Media has tried to answer that question in their third annual Super Bowl Search Marketing Scorecard. Specifically the report looks at how well SuperBowl advertisers used search to harness the buzz generated by their commercials and drive traffic to their sites. The answer apparently is: still not very well.
In the Scorecard brief, Reprise Media notes that in general Super Bowl advertisers "made strides in integrating their offline and online efforts this year". However, there were still "a significant number of missed opportunities". For example, while a majority of companies provided URLs during their ads, less than 20% gave viewers a compelling reason to visit their websites. The one exception to this trend, according to Reprise Media, was Pizza Hut:
"Though its commercial was not consumer-generated, Pizza Hut used paid search to link users to a customized YouTube channel instead of its own corporate site, allowing visitors to continue a dialogue about its ads and products."
However in my view Pizza Hut's online content is still very poor. For one thing it doesn't look like much dialogue has happened over on YouTube, where the custom Pizza Hut channel has attracted zero comments (as of writing) and just 33 subscribers. Another problem, there is a playback error when you try and click on a video - it has the message "The owner of this video does not allow video embedding". What's more, the accompanying MySpace page for Ted the Pizza Hut delivery driver is, well, cheesy [screenshot at the bottom of this post].
Jessica Simpson in the 2007 Pizza Hut SuperBowl ad
But back to Reprise Media's report, the accompanying Scorecard PDF has some interesting stats:
- 58% of advertisers bought placement in paid search against their brand name, a 16% increase from ‘06.
- 3/4 of companies didn’t integrate any recognizable elements from their TV commercials into their search ads.
- While most TV commercials included a URL nearly 90% lacked a specific call to action asking users to go there.
- 1/4 of companies purchased terms related to the big game, such as “Super Bowl Ads”.
- 70% of the landing pages surveyed for this study didn’t have any clear association with the Super Bowl ads that triggered them.
So it seems like there's still a long way to go until major advertisers, in the US anyway, truly integrate their offline ads with online activities. Also in my view corporate use of YouTube and MySpace is usually ineffective, unless it's content that is created by the community or even real people who work for the companies being promoted. To be frank, Pizza Hut's attempts at using YouTube and MySpace are pretty lame. So driving people to those sites during SuperBowl is just half the equation - there also needs to be real content and a reason to converse at those destinations.
Ted the Pizza Hut delivery driver's MySpace page