RealTime IT News

Dotcoms Line Up for Super Bowl Payoff

Despite a recessionary climate and a higher game entry fee, a batch of dotcom firms, some well-known, others long-absent and one appearing for the first time will be pitching sex, financial tips and even a $100,000 job to TV and online audiences in this Sunday's Super Bowl XLIII.

NBC upped the ante for a 30-second spot to $3 million, according to GoDaddy.com, one of the advertisers, for a Super Bowl that pits the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals. That's a 10 percent hike in price from Fox's $2.7 million price tag last year.

The opportunity to reach 97 million eyeballs -- last year's viewership on Fox's televised event -- is more valuable than ever, given increasing viral online campaigns that spur attention, and traffic, to corporate product sites, according to one expert.

Research firm comScore reported last year's Super Bowl spots prompted 13 percent of game watchers to go online to watch an advertiser's ad.

"The price increase is negligible given what companies are also able to learn about their ad impact using online measurement tools such as polls and feedback," Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, told InternetNews.com.

"The Super Bowl ad provides a strong hook to engage people in a way few other media opportunities provide," Calkins noted.

That's a fact returning veterans CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com know well. The two online job sites hope current turbulent economic times will prove boon time for their businesses, given all the recent layoffs. Both are running ads aiming to help job seekers.

CareerBuilder is banking on a funny 60-second spot, which will run in the third quarter, focused on whether it's time for viewers to look for a new job.

According to a press statement, Super Bowl ads have proved to be a winning strategy for the nation's online job site.

"We see a clear return on investment each year from the Super Bowl, with a multi-month surge in job seeker traffic and job applications, as well as increases in job postings and strengthened brand awareness," Richard Castellini, chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

In the three months following its 2008 Super Bowl advertising, CareerBuilder.com posted a 68 percent increase in job applications year over year, a 20 percent increase in channel sales year over year and a 10 percent increase in year over year.

"Our recent job forecast found that 14 percent of employers will be hiring full-time employees in 2009 and additionally, 19 percent say they plan to increase online recruitment. We're connecting workers with those opportunities and offering advice, with a wink and a nod, to help job seekers with some important decisions," said Castellini.

Next page: Who's in the game?