Superbowl ads ditch the Superbowl for YouTube
Remember Superbowl XXXIV? The year was 2000 and dot coms, flush with cash, spent millions of dollars advertising during the big game...a gambit that proved to be a big waste of money. Fast forward to Superbowl XLI (Go Bears): Instead of blowing their budgets on TV ads, tech startups are filming their own quirky spots and putting them up on YouTube.
Starting today, Plaxo, RockYou.com, Technorati and three other small companies are putting their versions of Superbowl-style ads on the Web. The companies have bundled their ads together in a YouTube channel called SuperDotComAdsXLI, and they hope to use their various social networks and corporate blogs to generate audiences for all the commericals.
John McCrea, vice president of marketing for online address book company Plaxo, says the various startups involved began kicking the idea around two weeks ago. Plaxo is home to some budding filmmakers (and apparently a few smart alecks) so McCrea let a small team of employees put something together. He was so impressed with the effort that he decided to use the spot to launch Plaxo's new logo and tagline. "Until this opportunity came along I never even thought about commericals," he says. Now, he says, he's considering doing even more video ads, but solely for the online medium.
None of these ads quite rises to the level of those delightful Monster.com television spots of a few years ago. ("When I grow up, I want to be forced into early retirement!") And a few are blatant knockoffs of famous campaigns of yore.
So what? These things took maybe a couple hundred bucks to produce, at most, and it only makes sense that these Web-based companies would use that platform to promote themselves.
If nothing else, their employees surely will enjoy seeing their co-workers embarrass themselves on film. (Note from Plaxo's McCrea: "That guy streaking" in the Plaxo spot "is not me.")
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