Yahoo! Buys Into Super Bowl

Yahoo is joining the ranks of E*Trade, HotJobs.com and Monster.com in the Super Bowl this year, marking an upswing in the number of dot-com advertisers in the game.

It’s also the first time that Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo will be advertising during the Super Bowl, which will air on the Fox Network on Feb. 3.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but sources close to Fox suggest the broadcaster has been slashing prices lately to move a surplus of inventory remaining during Super Bowl XXXVI. Last year, Fox charged upwards of $2 million per 30-second spot; this year, sources say prices could drop to the neighborhood of $1.5 million.

Yahoo, which last week reported continued net losses from sagging online advertising revenue, will use its 30-second, second-quarter spot to unveil a new ad in its long-running “Do You Yahoo?” consumer-focused branding campaign.

Recently, ads in the campaign have tended toward highlighting particular features of the portal — most specifically, its e-commerce area, Yahoo Shopping. But a spokesperson for Yahoo said the newest ad, “Dolphin,” would take a more generalist approach. The spot, designed by longtime agency of record Black Rocket, was shot on location on the Micronesian island of Palau. During the ad, a traveler seeks solitude and relaxation, and ultimately finds it on Palau.

With its buy, Yahoo joins the brief list of dot-com advertisers in this year’s Super Bowl. After 17 Internet firms advertised during the game in 2000, only E*Trade and career sites HotJobs and Monster.com again ponied up for a Super Bowl spot.

Both Monster.com and HotJobs.com, three-peat advertisers during the game, will use their fourth Super Bowl appearance to showcase new ads in their current brand campaigns. Online financial services company E*Trade, going for its third berth during the Super Bowl, again has signed on to sponsor the half-time show.

Despite it being Yahoo’s first time in the Super Bowl, the advertising buy lands it in familiar company. The purchase comes just weeks after its successful, unsolicited bid for HotJobs, which previously had been courted by Monster.com parent TMP Worldwide.

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