Super Bowl Viewers Swarmed to Web

  |  February 9, 2006   |  Comments

Commercials sent viewers to the Web during and after the game, with and Budweiser getting the biggest boosts.

Super Bowl viewers headed to advertisers' Web sites both during and after the big game, data from traffic-watchers indicates.

Traffic to advertiser sites spiked in the fourth quarter and continued in the hours and days following the game, according to Web services provider Akamai, which hosts more than half of the advertisers' Web presences. The company registered a peak 782,679 visitors per minute to its client's sites during the fourth quarter as users added the Web to their personal media mixes.

"There is a convergence between TV and the Web," Akamai Director of Marketing Kieran Taylor told ClickZ News. "Madison Avenue has been looking for the notion of closed loop marketing. The Web delivers that. In real time, they can gauge the efficiency of an ad based on the visitors to a Web site."

The controversial domain registrar sent viewers directly to the Web after each of its commercial's two airings. It first aired alone in the first half of the game, immediately raising site traffic 991 percent, according to data released by comScore. The same commercial aired again in the second half of the game, sending site traffic levels up 1148 percent.

Additional content, including last year's commercial, the 13 versions the network and NFL turned down before approving the final spot, and an introduction to the girl, attracted 439,000 unique visitors on Sunday according to a comScore report.

Budweiser's multi-ad buy drove traffic up incrementally throughout the game. Traffic to the site increased by 81 percent within a half hour of the first advertisement. The number of visitors to the site eventually grew 195 percent as follow-on commercials aired. Altogether, the popular commercials drove traffic up 503 percent over what it had been, on average, for the previous few Sundays.

A commercial with actor Jay Mohr in the role of Diet Pepsi's talent agent featuring P. Diddy, and another with Jackie Chan, spilled over to the Brown & Bubbly site. Visitors to the site could use the commercial as a backdrop to mix songs and create music videos starring Diet Pepsi. Hitwise reported an increase in time spent from a pre-game average on of 16 seconds to a post-game average visit of three minutes, 59 seconds on the microsite.

Time spent on Burger King's new Whopperettes microsite has averaged a minute and 23 seconds. Visitors select ingredients for a sandwich, then watch the Whopperettes build it as they do in the commercial.

Unilever's Dove commercial emphasizing self-esteem cleared a 251 percent increase in daily visits to its Campaign for Real Beauty Web site. Of the site's visitors, 9.8 percent went on to a donation page for the Girl Scouts of America's Uniquely Me program.

"The audience doesn't want to experience the brand just on television, they really want to swim in the brand after the commercial," said Taylor. "Only a few advertisers are taking full advantage of the convergence of TV and the Web."

Advertisers weren't the only ones getting extra traffic out of the big game. Publisher sites, including AOL, gave the broadcast commercials extra play and grabbed audiences in the process. Including all the ads that ran during the game, AOL said it served over 17 million streams. Hitwise reported a 131 percent increase in visits to AOL Sports' commercial section on Sunday night. iFilm also streamed the game's commercials and saw traffic increase 49 percent.

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Enid Burns

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