How to Waste $2.7 on a Superbowl Advert

Microsoft trying to buy out Yahoo wasn’t the only big thing to happen this week in the web world. There was a great deal of focus on some major TV advertising on a little something called the ‘soup or bowl‘ this past sunday. Whatever that was.

But seriously though, asides from the funny spoof video on that link, with some companies paying up to $2.7 million for a Super Bowl spot, I was really shocked at the lack of ‘web-interaction’ of the ads this year. So I decided to do some ‘analysis’ of TV advertising and its use (or lack of) website tie-ins…

Strange that Akamai were surprised about the lack in increase of traffic to the websites that were ‘mentioned’ in super bowl ads. Out of all the ads I saw, there were pretty much zero that gave me a compelling reason to check out their website. No surprise really that these companies didn’t see much increase in web traffic. Which is shocking in todays web dominated advertising world.

Last year, there was the hugely influential ‘GoDaddy.com’ commercial, that relied on a sexy model. But when you went to their site, they barely even mentioned it – wasting a tremendous opportunity for repeat visits. And this year, all we had in terms of ‘web-hooks’ was the childish SalesGenie.com ads. And when you visited their web site, well, lets say it could use a ‘landing page makeover‘. A 9th grader could have easily designed a better web page that captured more leads! But hats off to them, at least they had the sense to use a vanity URL so they knew exactly where the traffic was coming from. Many of the ads shown barely even gave time to show their company URL.

So what could superbowl advertisers have done to make their $2.7 more worthwhile?

1 – Do a ‘web-continuation’ TV advert that State Farm Insurance did so well before, with their ingenious ’now what?‘ TV campaign. This works very for converting TV traffic to web traffic.

2 -Show a funny or viral video on an advert (much like the etrade talking baby this year), but mention to go to their website to see more videos in that series. Online videos are one of the hottest things around right now!

3 – Offer a free product sample on the advert, and make them go online and ‘register’ to receive it in the mail. This way, you have got their all important email address to market to them again (spam free of course!) This worked very well for Dove soap adverts recently.

4 – Make the TV advert funny or contrversial, and put a memorable URL at the end, which encourages people to visit a website, that allows users to ‘comment’ on what they saw. If you can, tie in a MySpace profile page too. MySpace is a great community builder – especially for movie characters (like Borat’s MySpace profile - 486,000 friends!)

5 - In the very least, the advert could mention a special ‘web only’ discount, only available at a vanity URL like www.xyz.com/tv. Simple, yet effective website traffic driver.

Surely I wasn’t the only web person that was disappointed – what did everyone else think of the super bowl ads? I would be curious to know…

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