Super Bowl advertisers score a mixed bag

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Overall, this year's Super Bowl advertisers continued to improve their integration of online and offline marketing efforts, but not everyone scored a touchdown, according to search marketers.

“This year was the best of any year,” said Janel Landis, senior director of search development and strat­egy at SendTec, a direct marketing services company. Landis estimated that of the approximately 76 different commercials broadcast during the Super Bowl, 64% highlighted a URL in their ad. “We're really seeing advertisers start to get it and get better and better at integrating their offline and online,” she said.

According to search marketing firm Reprise Media's fourth annual Search Marketing Scorecard, 70% of advertisers purchased their own brand names as keywords, which was an increase of 20% from last year. Twenty-eight percent purchased Super Bowl-related keywords, which was a slight increase from last year. However, only 6% included a call to action in their commercials.

A 30-second television commercial cost advertisers about $2.7 million this year, according to Reprise Media. With that big of an investment, it's surprising that more advertisers aren't paying attention to the Internet, search marketers said.

An online presence could almost double the reach of these commercials, said John Grudnowski, director of modern media for space150, a digital advertising and branding firm.

Making an investment online is a great way for companies to get more buzz and talk value, said Lori Yaeger, VP of strategy and insight for space150. “They didn't have it in the past. You were just a one shot wonder.”

Overall, search marketers cited as having successful Internet integration included CareerBuilder and GoDaddy.com. Another clear winner was Tide's talking stain commercial. The commercial directed viewers to MyTalkingStain.com, where they could watch the commercial, enter a contest, or create their own talking stain ad. 

Unreal Marketing called MyTalkingStain.com a “terrific interactive Web site” that engaged users with the brand. Yaeger also called the commercial a “great spot.”

However, several marketers criticized Victoria's Secret for its lack of online integration. Not only did Victoria's Secret forget to tag a URL in their ad, but there was no call to action, Unreal Marketing noted in its Super Bowl Ad Analysis.

“It's surprising because they're a pretty big player in the search space,” Landis said. 

According to buzz.yahoo.com, Sunday saw a 533% increase in searches for “Super Bowl commercial,” Grudnowski said. People seem to be going online and looking for these commercials, even without a call to action, he said.

And MySpace, AOL, YouTube, and Yahoo all have dedicated landing pages where viewers can look at all of the Super Bowl ads. It's another way that brands are getting additional exposure, Grudnowski said.

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