Dot-com Super Bowl ads score few points

nullNEW YORK: It was hyped as the ’Dot-com Super Bowl,’ but most Internet firms fumbled away the chance to develop any brand recognition during the NFL’s championship match.

nullNEW YORK: It was hyped as the ’Dot-com Super Bowl,’ but most Internet firms fumbled away the chance to develop any brand recognition during the NFL’s championship match.

NEW YORK: It was hyped as the ’Dot-com Super Bowl,’ but most

Internet firms fumbled away the chance to develop any brand recognition

during the NFL’s championship match.



Although the game’s thrilling finish provided the desired audience -

130.7 million viewers - most dot-coms managed to confuse rather than

inspire the assembled throngs, wasting millions of dollars that could

have been better spent on PR and integrated branding efforts, sources

said last week.



’I think a meaningful number (of dot-coms) missed the opportunity to

spend that money well,’ said Stephen Greyser, a marketing professor at

Harvard Business School.



For a change, it was the game that kept viewers glued to their couches,

while the sophomoric ads left them puzzled and jeering. ’If I never see

another dot-com ad again, it will be too soon,’ legendary adman Stan

Freberg told USA Today.



This year, 18 of the 55 Super Bowl ads were from dot-coms, who shelled

out upwards of dollars 40 million overall. But only two of the 10 most

popular ads in the USA Today Ad Meter were for dot-coms, while the

advertising dilettantes landed seven of the 10 least popular spots. In

Adweek’s poll, only 36% of viewers could even recall a dot-com

brand.



Allen Adamson, a former ad exec and now MD at brand consultancy Landor

Associates, likened the dot-com firms to first-time buyers in a

mall.



’People were buying ads without an understanding of how to build

brands,’ he said. ’You remembered the punch lines, not why it’s relevant

or what they’re selling.’



Brodeur Worldwide CEO John Brodeur said most were ’just shouting from

the mountaintops,’ while Northwestern University’s Clarke Caywood added,

’The ads were a waste of money in terms of reaching the customer.’



Jon White, a partner at EURO RSCG/DSW Partners, which has produced Super

Bowl ads for Intel, wouldn’t condemn the entire dot-com category. But he

admitted, ’It’s a roll of the dice. If you don’t come in the top 10 of

the spots, you’ve blown it.’



While the mere fact that they were advertising was a PR boon for some

dot-coms, Greyser said that wasn’t enough: ’You have to build more of an

identity than ’We’re advertising during the Super Bowl.’’



Simon Williams, chairman of brand consultancy Sterling Group, told The

New York Times, ’If any dot-coms are still under the illusion that

advertising was the simple solution to building brands, then the Super

Bowl will have put an end to that.’



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