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Super Bowl Commercials & Domain Names

Jessep242Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with the art of making a good commercial.  Those who are marketers, I’m sure can appreciate this too, especially when a commercial makes an audience remember the brand and remember the product or service.

But with a record breaking audience of 106 million people, I was blown away at the lack of importance to the companies who spent $2.5-$2.8 million (not including the cost of production or compensation for the actors) for 30-seconds of airtime and either did not display their company website address or displayed it at the very end of the commercial in small font with only a few seconds left to display the domain name.

Early last week I posted a question on Twitter and got some responses back from other sports tweeters, @rscibetti and @sportsologist.  I had originally asked what people thought the percentage of Super Bowl commercials will make reference to their company website.

superbowl-tweets3

I asked this question because back in January 2007 for Super Bowl XLI (Colts vs. Bears), I did an unscientific study (a legal pad, a pen and a few beers) on what commercials had domains in their ads and it was shockingly low; close to 50%.

superbowl-tweets

Fast forward to 2010 and you would think that everyone would display their website address.  Well, think again.  I was at a Super Bowl party and thought I could use Twitter and tweet my observations on my BlackBerry (a great way to post notes when paper is not available) and the results showed a decent improvement for the display of website addresses from the amount promoted in 2007.  The screen shot below shows the first set of commercials and in this sample, 68% of commercials showed a website address.

superbowl-tweets2

Overall, of the 41 commercials commented on, 31 made a reference to website address (75.8%).  For the 11 commercials who did not (Bud Light, Coke, Audi, Intel, etc.), what were you thinking?!  If you are going to spend that kind of dough (and I sure hope Bud Light negotiated a quantity discount with CBS), you should place a greater importance on taking advantage of creating a call to action for the audience to go to your website.

And finally, with the display of company websites promoted at 75.8%, you would have thought that the promotion of companies’ social networking accounts for Twitter and Facebook would have been taken advantage of especially with 106 million viewers watching, of whom which have mobile phones to actively use Twitter and Facebook during the game, but the results of this were extremely dismal.  Only 2 companies out of the 41 commercials tallied mentioned their social networking accounts; Honda (promoted their facebook.com/honda fan page) and eTrade (promoted social media icons for Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube).

There is one thing that is certain, as long as there is a Super Bowl, advertisers will be spending money.  And as the internet and social media continue to take over our lives, especially for sports fans, companies will only increase their promotion and brand awareness using domain names and social media.

Feel free to post our comments below or to me via @athlete on Twitter on what you thought of the Super Bowl commercials.

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Image by Jessep242

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5 Responses to Super Bowl Commercials & Domain Names

  1. Chris February 11, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Great article and thanks for the mention! Seems like a wasted opportunity as its easy to include the domain at the bottom screen or end of the commercial. In terms of social media, I’m generally a fan of advertising domain.com/facebook or domain.com/twitter and have it auto-forward to the respective site in addition to having the vanity url. That way the company/property controls the traffic, can run analytics, etc.

  2. Tim Evans February 11, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    Good stuff, Chris. There were a few ads that had a call to action to go to their site (GoDaddy, Dockers, etc.), but you would think that with that kind of money being spent, importance would be placed on giving the audience a reason to check out your site, become a fan, etc. Subtle mentions of a domain at the very end in small font is almost like they don’t want people to go to their website.

  3. Amanda Miller February 11, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Interesting article Tim. I’m just wondering we’re all a little tainted because we’re so heavily involved in the social media/online world. Before people jump to interacting with a brand, they need to be aware of it and add it to their consideration set. Soem companies may see SB advertising as the very base of the pyramid.

    Interestingly, the companies you mentioned that didn’t include domain names all have easily ‘guessable’ names (budweiser.com, audi.com, intel.com) so maybe it was a concious decision not to include.

  4. Tim Evans February 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    You definitely make good points, Amanda. For those brands who didn’t mention a domain or offer a URL for more info, personally I probably wouldn’t mentally tell myself I need to check out their site, whereas with another company, because they had a unique/compelling message and a domain/URL to go along with, I would want to check it out. For those who liked the new Audi car, Audi could have displayed audi.com/model-name for those who wanted more before going to the dealer.

    I totally agree with you about how those who are involved with the online world so much can have slanted views, whether good, bad, or indifferent.

  5. Russell Scibetti February 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    Turns out my original guess of 75% was right on the money!

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