Dot-com commercials during Super Bowl XXXIV

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Super Bowl XXXIV (played in January 2000) featured 14 advertisements from 14 different dot-com companies, each of which paid an average of $2.2 million per spot.[1][note 1] In addition, five companies that were founded before the dot-com bubble also ran tech-related ads, for a grand total of 22 different dot-com ads. These ads amounted to nearly 20 percent of the 61 spots available,[1] and $44 million in advertising.[2] In addition to ads which ran during the game, several companies also purchased pre-game ads, most of which are lesser known. All of the publicly held companies which advertised saw their stocks slump after the game as the dot-com bubble began to rapidly deflate.[1]

The sheer amount of dot-com-related ads was so unusual that Super Bowl XXXIV has been widely been referred to as the "Dot-Com Super Bowl",[3] and it is often used as a high-water mark for the dot-com bubble.[4][5][6] Of these companies, 6 are still active, 5 were bought by other companies, and the remaining 5 are defunct or of unknown status.


Many websites saw short-term gains from the advertisements., for example, reported a surge of 300,000 hits per minute during its advertisement broadcast.[7] In many cases, though, this did not translate into long-term gains.'s revenue jumped 350% in Q1 of 2000, but its $5 million in advertising costs were still ten times what its customers spent.[8] Short-term gains were not enough to re-coop advertising losses, and,, and, among many others, would fold before the end of the year.

Later references[edit]

Less than a year later, E*Trade ran an ad during Super Bowl XXXV mocking the glut of dot-com commercials during the previous game. The ad featured the chimpanzee from E*Trade's 2000 commercial wandering through a ghost town filled with the remains of fictional dot-com companies, including a direct reference to the already-defunct sock puppet. During the game that year, only three dot-com companies ran advertisements.[2]

In-Game Ads[edit]

The following list details each company, the commercials they ran, and their ultimate fate.

Company Commercial Title(s) Spot Length Company Status[9] "I Need a Car" 0:30 Active[5] "Mike and Mike"[3] 0:30 Purchased by Office Depot in 2000[3] "Charity" 0:30 Unknown; domain name redirects to [1][1] "Bathroom" 0:30 Defunct in 2000 "Time Saving Tips" 0:30 Unknown; domain name redirects to[1] "Negotiations" 0:30 Bought by Yahoo! in 2002, later purchased and liquidated by in 2010[7] "Tornado" 0:30 Active[1] "The Worst Commercial" 0:30 Purchased by Cross Media Group in 2001[10][1] "The Road Less Travelled" 0:30 Active[11] "Paper Monster" 0:30 Defunct in 2002
Netpliance[1] "Webhead" 0:30 Rebranded as TippingPoint in 2002, purchased by 3Com in 2005[8][12] "Invites" 0:30 Purchased by an undisclosed company in 2002[1] "If You Leave Me Now" 0:30 Liquidated in 2000
WebMD[1] "Ali" 0:30 Active

Companies founded before the bubble[edit]

In addition to the companies listed above, several tech companies that were founded before the dot-com boom also ran ads. As these are outside the strict definition of a dot-com company, since their founding significantly pre-dated the creation of a dot-com website, they have been listed separately.

Company Commercial Title(s) Spot Length Company Status
Britannica Active (online only; print edition ceased publication in 2010)
E*Trade[1] "Wasted 2 Million", "Out the" Wazoo", "Basketball Prodigy" 0:30 each Active
Electronic Data Systems "Cat herders" Defunct
Kforce Active
MicroStrategy[1] "Fraud", "Stock Alert" 0:30 each Active

Pre-Game Ads[edit]

The following list details companies which ran ads prior to the actual game time.

Company Commercial Title(s) Spot Length Company Status "Untitled 1", "Untitled 2"[3] 0:30 each Purchased by Office Depot in 2000[3] "Untitled 1", "Untitled 2", "Untitled 3" 0:30 each Purchased by an undisclosed company in 2002


  1. ^ Though, E*Trade, Electronic Data Systems, Kforce, and MicroStrategy are all companies that ran ads with a .com address, they have not been included in this list because the founding date of these companies exclude them from the strict definition of a dot-com company. Sources do not agree on the exact amount of dot-com advertisers who bought spots.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Pender, Kathleen. "Dot-Com Super Bowl Advertisers Fumble / But Down Under, may win at Olympics", San Francisco Chronicle, 13 September 2000. Accessed February 26 2014.
  2. ^ a b Hyman, Mark, and Tom Lowry. "What's Missing from Super Bowl XXXV?", BloombergBusinessweek, 7 January 2001. Accessed February 28 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Shroeder, Charlie. "The Dot-Com Super Bowl", Weekend America, 2 February 2008. Accessed February 26 2014.
  4. ^ Bennet, Dashiell. 8 Dot-Coms That Spent Millions On Super Bowl Ads And No Longer Exist", Business Insider, 2 February 2011. Accessed February 26 2014.
  5. ^ a b Basich, Zoran. "Super Bowl Lures HomeAway, 10 Years After Dot-Com Debacle", Wall Street Journal Blogs, 19 January 2010. Accessed February 26 2014.
  6. ^ Planes, Alex. "The Biggest Waste of Money in Super Bowl History", Motley Fool, 30 January 2013. Accessed February 28, 2014.
  7. ^ a b ""Super Bowl's Last Minute and's Last-Minute Commercial Are Big Winners", HospitalityNet, 31 January 2000. Accessed February 28, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "'s marketing bomb", Venture Navigator, August 2007. Accessed February 28, 2014.
  9. ^ Gelsi, Steve. "Tiny Dot-com Joins Super Bowl", CBS News, 24 January 2000. Accessed February 26 2014.
  10. ^ "LifeMinders Sold",, 19 July 2001. Accessed February 28, 2014.
  11. ^ White, Erin. "Start-Up Bets It All On 30-Second Ad During Super Bowl", Wall Street Journal, 2 February 2000. Accessed February 28, 2014.
  12. ^ Chartier, John. "Dot.coms ready Bowl game", CNN Money, 28 January 2000. Accessed February 26 2014.

External links[edit]

Contemporary Opinions Leading up to Super Bowl XXXIV[edit]

In-Depth Articles[edit]