How CareerBuilder.com Used the Web to Lead Into Its Super Bowl Ad Buy

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Where do people go after watching the Super Bowl? They head to the Web, as consumers rushed to the Internet in record numbers this year, traffic to Super Bowl advertiser sites grew 93% from Super Bowl Sunday to the next day.
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CareerBuilder’s traffic increased 70% to 1.4 million post-Super Bowl, thanks in part to the pre-game viral push.

While most Super Bowl advertisers use the Web to extend their campaigns after the game, job-search site Careerbuilder.com and URL registration site Godaddy.com used the Web to build buzz beforehand.

“The Super Bowl is the world’s largest marketing event and a lot of these ads are leaked to 'E! Extra,' and so a Web site has to be ready with a call to action before, during and after the event,” said Kieran Taylor, director-marketing, Akamai, which tracked Web site traffic for 23 of the 42 Super Bowl advertisers.

E-mail a chimp
CareerBuilder launched a micro-site Jan. 25, some 12 days before the big event. Called Monk-e-mail, the microsite lets consumers dress one of three chimpanzees in an office -- a boss, a co-worker or a receptionist -- and then choose a pre-recorded message before sending the monk-e-mail to a friend. Pre-recorded message include a kiss-off to a butt-kisser, or a song for the co-worker who wears too much cologne. Consumers can also record a message that is lip-synched by a chimp.

The e-mail caught on virally, attracting 230,000 unique visitors within a week, said Karen Seamen, general manager, Cramer-Krasselt, CareerBuilder’s agency of record, which created the site.

Oddcast, a company that develops and markets avatars and user-generated media products, produced the technology for animating the chimps on the site. The pass-along rate was also impressive -- more than 50% of the people who received monk-e-mail sent it on to a friend.

Quickly caught on
Ms. Seamen said the biggest surprise is that the agency did no marketing for the site, other than placing a banner at the bottom of CarrerBuilder.com. “We were surprised at how quickly this has caught on,” she said.

For the second year, CareerBuilder.com ran a Super Bowl ad that features a young man who works in an office full of chimpanzees. The simple yet funny gag is that the man is desperate to find a new job because, as he puts it, he works with a bunch of monkeys.

For both CareerBuilder and Godaddy, getting people to their Web sites is, after all, crucial to their businesses. So the pre-game traffic and buzz helped, and then the TV ads during the game prompted a skyrocketing visitor rate. CareerBuilder’s traffic increased 70% to 1.4 million, and Godaddy’s bulged 71% to 1 million.

Tempest in a D-cup
Godaddy.com CEO Bob Parsons drove traffic to the Web site by making media hay of the fact that ABC rejected the first 13 ads he submitted for the Super Bowl. He posted the ads on his blog and blow-by-blow commentary about his travails, and shared all this with anyone who would listen. The site had 165,000 hits the Sunday before the Super Bowl.

Mr. Parsons said all the pre-Bowl coverage helped people to understand what a Web domain company does -- register a Web site name. “There was no way we could tell people in a 30-second ad what we do,” he said. “If they could remember GoDaddy and then go to the Web site, then they can have some idea of what we do.” (Buying airtime for the second year in a row to run an ad with an extremely buxom brunette who's literally bursting at the seams surely helps capture top-of-mind.)

Better still, Mr. Parsons said, GoDaddy’s sales have increased 30% since Sunday. “Our ad didn’t work out too bad,” he said. “Everybody said it was tasteless and terrible but you can’t argue with results.”

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