Like a wounded quarterback limping to the sidelines, dot-coms are disappearing from next year’s telecast of Super Bowl XXXV on CBS faster that you can say “stock market troubles.”
Last year, a total of 19 Internet companies paid top dollar for premium spots on the Super Bowl telecast. So far this year only four dot-coms are in the game.
Tony Taranto, who handles advertising negotiations for the network’s Super Bowl telecast, said four Internet companies have signed on to hawk their offerings during television’s most popular broadcast. The 1999 Super Bowl game, broadcast by FOX, was watched by 125 million.
“We have four dot-coms in the game so far. We expect to have a few more on board before the game on January 28,” Taranto told atNewYork this morning. “If their business model works, they’ll be in the game. If not, they’ll be left out. It is as simple as that.”
One Internet play buying into the importance of advertising on the Super Bowl broadcast is Silicon Alley-based HotJobs.com, the online recruitment firm which also bought spots in the last two years.
HotJobs.com announced this week it intends to purchase four 30-second spots to be aired before and during the game, which will he held next year at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
“We are huge fans of the Super Bowl,” said Richard Johnson, CEO of HotJobs.com. “Our decision in 1999 to gamble half of our company’s revenue on a single Super Bowl spot was a move that put us on the map and has clearly paid off. Our repeat performance in 2000 further drove brand recognition and established HotJobs.com as a formidable player in the online recruiting space,” he added.
Johnson’s company will run one commercial during the actual game and three during the pre-game broadcast, which is reportedly being produced by Viacom-owned MTV.
Monster.com, which competes directly with HotJobs in the job-placement space, is also on board for this year’s Super Bowl. The other returning advertisers are E-Trade and EDS, an IT professional services firm based in Plano, Texas. E-Trade, the financial services site headquartered in California, is expected to sponsor the half-time show again this year.
Monster.com and EDS have reportedly paid $2.2 million for a 30-second spot, but Taranto declined to divulge details of CBS prices. “Each deal is negotiated differently. They all have different elements so it is impossible to say how much a spot in the Super Bowl actually costs,” he explained.
Dot-coms that bought spots last year, but who are shying away from this year’s telecast include New York-based Oxygen Media and OnMoney.com. AutoTrader.com, Britannica.com, Computer.com, Healtheon/WebMD, Kforce.com, LastMinuteTravel.com, Lifeminders and OurBeginning.com are among Web firms nationwide avoiding the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl telecast attracts the biggest television audience of the year and it has become a showcase for advertising, allowing the network that carries it to charge endlessly escalating prices. The reported $2.2 million figure for a 30-second spot is more than double the rate of commercials run during “normal” prime time programming.
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