Home SuperBowl Advertisers Fail To Impress Online and on Social Network Sites

SuperBowl Advertisers Fail To Impress Online and on Social Network Sites

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

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
  • 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

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