Super Bowl ads go online

Companies will re-air TV ads on the Net, buying keywords and promoting Web sites to squeeze more life from superexpensive spots.

It's the game inside the big game: Which advertisers will plunk down a few million dollars for a 30-second commercial during Sunday's Super Bowl?

But for every "Terry Tate the Office Linebacker" ad--a 2002 hit for Reebok sneakers--there are dozens that no one remembers. This year, with advertisers such as Bayer, Cadillac, MasterCard, Motorola, Pizza Hut, Sprint, Unilever and Warner Bros. spending as much $2.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime, according to Ad Age magazine, many are turning to the Web and mobile devices to get the most out of their superpricey Super Bowl spots.

Knowing that people often go straight to a search engine to get more information on the book, movie or product they just saw in a commercial, many of the advertisers are snapping up keywords related to their commercials on the search sites, re-airing the ads on their Web sites or creating so-called microsites they hope will tap in to interest created by the game-time ads.

Soap maker Dove, which is running its first-ever Super Bowl commercial, is buying keywords like "Real Beauty," in reference to new ads that send the message that beauty is more than skin deep, said Ron Belanger, Yahoo search marketing senior director of global advertising strategies.

"Ad agencies are getting smarter about how to get that $2.5 million to work for them."
--Mike Margolin, associate media director, RPA

"Half of the Super Bowl advertisers are buying search-supported material, up about 100 percent from last year," Belanger said.

Burger King has a commercial during the Super Bowl for the first time in 11 years and will be directing people to a new microsite, a narrow and specific landing page on its Web site,

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