Super Bowl commercial break featured its first-ever DRTV ad

LONDON - Marketing history was made on Sunday during the US Super Bowl, when the Arizona Cardinals took on the Pittsburgh Steelers in one of the world's most watched sports events.

For the first time ever, a direct response TV ad ran in the commercial breaks during the Super Bowl on Sunday, won by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Advertising during the breaks in Super Bowl coverage is normally the preserve of mega-brands such as Coca-Cola.

But on Sunday a 30-second commercial for Cash4Gold, a Florida website where people can sell their gold jewelry for cash, ran during the third quarter of Sunday's Super Bowl.

The ad, featuring talk show host Ed McMahon and rapper MC Hammer, was made by Havas' Euro RSCG Edge was booked in one of the last few slots NBC, this year's Super Bowl broadcaster, had available.

Despite the recession, NBC sold all 69 of last night's Super Bowl spots for a record $206 million.

The broadcaster believes Cash4Gold is the first direct-response advertiser to join the Super Bowl ad roster.

Commentators are not surprised that this year of all years marks DRTV's debut, as TV networks find it harder to sell inventory amid the recession.

Cash4Gold was founded in 2007 and is benefiting from the downturn as consumers want to offload their gold jewelry.