Dotcom dollars forced the average price of a 30-second Super Bowl
spot up 40 per cent to a record dollars 2.2 million.
As the most-watched television event in the US - attracting more than
125 million viewers - the Super Bowl is regarded in America as the
pinnacle of the advertising year, and as barometer of corporate
In recent years, beer and and car ads have dominated the Super Bowl, but
in this year’s event, which took place on 23 January, more than half the
33 advertisers were promoting websites.
William Bird, advertising analyst at Salomon Smith Barney, said this
simply presented a microcosm of what is happening across all media
He predicted that dotcom spending on traditional advertising will triple
to dollars 8 billion this year - pushing up outdoor, radio and press
rates as well as TV.
A survey of 273 people in USA Today found, however, that viewers
considered the dotcom commercials to be either too complex or too
Of the ten most popular ads shown during the event, only two were from
dotcom companies: Pets.com and Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen Media.
LifeMinders.com, which offers a free service whereby subscribers are
e-mailed timely reminders, set out deliberately to create the worst ad
screened during the Super Bowl. It spent dollars 3 million on airtime
but only dollars 4,800 on creative. But according to the USA Today
survey, it was beaten to the bottom slot by General Motors.
According to the US research company Eisner & Associates, 7 per cent of
the Super Bowl audience tunes in just to see the ads.
’Its not just the Super Bowl of football, its the Super Bowl of
advertising,’ said Jerry Soloman, a buyer for the US agency SFM Media.