Bridging The Gap Between Off-Line And On-Line Advertising :: A Superbowl Case Study

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I just dont get it. Advertisers spend millions of dollars for a 30 second or 1 minute spot in a football game yet in many cases they fail to follow through online. I mean, if you are going to spend that much money to get your product visible wouldnt you want to back that up somehow? In this article I look at some of the shortcomings of a Super Bowl campaign and what I think advertisers should be doing about it. So, Super Bowl 40 (sorry XL) has come and gone. Like so many other people I of course watched the game. Not so much for the game but for the commercials. You see, Super Bowl Sunday is the time of year when many companies launch their years advertising program starting with an inaugural Super Bowl commercial. And like every year, the usual suspects were there Budweiser, GoDaddy, Pepsi and Coke to name just a few. Now, there are some interesting things that took place with the commercials this year. For one thing, there were a lot of web properties hosting the ads online. Last year there were only a handful, but this year big names like Yahoo! and Google got into the ads. Even the NFL website had the ads on its site appearing immediately following the game. But what perplexes me is that none of these advertisers (except perhaps for GoDaddy) attempted to relate the offline advertising done during the game with anything they did online. For example, if you were to take a look at any of the Pepsi, Coke or Budweiser websites before the game, you’d find no mention of the Superbowl. Pizza Hut did a little better job with the givaway of the boots Jessica Simpson wore during the commercial but thats about it. In todays era of cross platform marketing Im surprised that none of these sites really tried to build buzz leading up to the Super Bowl with their websites. Further, there was little change to these sites during the game or even after. Its as if the advertising during the game happens in a vacuum with no consideration for other media. Granted they are spending millions for the right to have their ads show up during the game but in light of that I would think spending a few thousand to ensure the website helps further promote their message would be in order. In fact its always bothered me when a company does TV advertising and the website doesnt reflect the message found in the advertisement. There are only a few cases where Ive found the website and the advertising work well together. Geico, for example does a great job of tying their TV ads to their website. When you go one of the first things you see is the Gecko their mascot. So if Geico can do it, why dont other companies? I mean, if you look at the Coke or Pepsi websites you see they keep the branding intact but thats about all they do. They dont seem to reflect any current television promotion. So while I was entertained by the commercials that weekend, I was also a little disappointed because thats all they were isolated bits of entertainment with little residual value because they didnt tie in other forms of promotion. Namely their websites. Really, when you look at how other TV ventures are embracing the web with TV shows crossing over and working with web properties like AOL and Yahoo! you begin to wonder why advertisers dont also integrate more fully. I guess maybe it has to do with the whole marketing industry and the fact that they still dont fully get the web. They know their clients need a website, but some of them dont know why yet. Many marketing execs fail to see the value of any type of online marketing even though its easier to measure the impact of an SEM campaign than any TV advertising campaign. With SEM, both Paid and SEO, you can track and measure visitors, impressions and conversions. With TV all you get is an estimate of total reach. So to any Super Bowl advertisers who may read this please listen to this to make your campaign really successful, why not try and integrate some of the marketing message into your website? You may be surprised at how successful it is. Bridging The Gap Between Off-Line And On-Line Advertising :: A Superbowl Case Study


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