As the Giants gloat and the Patriots sulk, it’s time to take a look at the other players with high stakes in the Super Bowl: the advertisers. Millions of football fans watched the commercials, then turned online to search engines to find out more about their favorites or watch them again. In our fourth annual Search Marketing Scorecard, we ranked Super Bowl advertisers by evaluating how they used search engine marketing to get the most out of all that TV attention on the Web.
With search and social media marketing best practices in mind, we found that many of this year’s advertisers:
- Got better at search, but still need improvement
- Like they last year, advertisers got a little bit better at running paid search this year, but many still missed when it came to integrating their search campaign with their Super Bowl messaging
- Missed big media branding opportunities
- While some brands took full advantage of YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace with custom Super Bowl campaigns, many others didn’t even have official profiles on these pages. In some cases, the content on non-official branded pages was a little risque. And no advertisers had URLs to their social media presence in their TV ads.
- Wasted their shot at celebrity keywords
- Bridgestone had Alice Cooper and Richard Simmons. Sunsilk featured Marilyn Monroe, Shakira, and Madonna. Neither bought these stars’ names as keywords, which is unfortunate because often these stars are the only thing viewers remember about the ad.
A couple of other trends we noticed:
- No TV, just search
- Edmunds.com and ESPN.com both ran search ads for Super Bowl keywords, though neither had skin in the game on TV, so to speak.
- Movie studios still MIA in search
- Besides New Line Cinema’s “Semi-Pro,” most other movies missed out on search marketing altogether, and none bought Super Bowl-related terms. However, about half the films had some social media presence.
We’ll be covering winners, losers, and high-level trends in far greater detail this week, but it never fails to surprise us how many of the slickest ads fail to follow through online and miss important details. One advertiser, Audi, had a broken link in its search ad during the game, while CareerBuilder.com neglected to buy its “follow your heart” tagline – and competitor Monster.com, not a Super Bowl advertiser this year, swooped in and showed up for that phrase. At the end of the day, you have to wonder what many Super Bowl marketers are thinking when they spend millions on airtime – not to mention ad production and celebrity spokespeople – and forget to make it easy for viewers to find them online.