Posted by: nickgerlich | January 18, 2008

Bowling For Advertisers

In the wild west days of the internet, anyone could launch a website and hope to make a few gazillion dollars. Word spread like wildfire, and it seemed like no one followed any of the established rules of engagement for business. After all, this was Business 2.0, and the only rule was this: There are no rules.

Super Bowl XLIIIt did not take long, however, for the dotcoms to figure out that viral marketing, while incredibly powerful, was not going to do the complete job. For companies to have a chance, some old-school methods would have to be used after all. While the pill of tradition was rather hard to swallow, there was an impressive list of dotcoms who showed up[ at Super Bowl XXXIV early in 2000 to spread their message to the masses.

Of course, all the advertising dollars in the world won’t salvage a half-baked business idea. But it sure looked good, didn’t it? At about $2 million per half minute, anyone with a website and venture capitalists could buy a TV spot on the most-watched evening of television in the world.

So it is to no one’s surprise that few of the 2000 Super Bowl dotcom advertisers are still around. Shoot, one of those companies spent over half of their entire capitalization on one Super Bowl ad. So much for common sense.

Things have changed considerably since 2000. The dotcom advertisers today are on much better footing, and a lot less likely to drain their checking account in one day. A quick look at Super Bowl XLII advertisers reveals an impressive array of advertisers, several of which are online entities.

Thankfully, cooler heads now prevail, and the Super Bowl is seen for what it is: a platform for well-grounded (and funded) companies to splurge. Is it effective? That’s for the media critics to decide, as well as the sales analysts. There is no doubt that traditional marketing tools are indeed still relevant for new business models.

And the new rule is that you shouldn’t spend it all in one place.

Dr “You Can Bank On That” Gerlich


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