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.

Effectiveness[edit]

Many websites saw short-term gains from the advertisements. LastMinuteTravel.com, 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. OurBeginning.com'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 Pets.com, Computer.com, and Epidemic.com, 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 Pets.com 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
AutoTrader.com[9] "I Need a Car" 0:30 Active
Computer.com[5] "Mike and Mike"[3] 0:30 Purchased by Office Depot in 2000[3]
e1040.com "Charity" 0:30 Unknown; domain name redirects to [1]
Epidemic.com[1] "Bathroom" 0:30 Defunct in 2000
E-Stamp.com "Time Saving Tips" 0:30 Unknown; domain name redirects to Stamps.com
HotJobs.com[1] "Negotiations" 0:30 Bought by Yahoo! in 2002, later purchased and liquidated by Monster.com in 2010
LastMinuteTravel.com[7] "Tornado" 0:30 Active
LifeMinders.com[1] "The Worst Commercial" 0:30 Purchased by Cross Media Group in 2001[10]
Monster.com[1] "The Road Less Travelled" 0:30 Active
OnMoney.com[11] "Paper Monster" 0:30 Defunct in 2002
Netpliance[1] "Webhead" 0:30 Rebranded as TippingPoint in 2002, purchased by 3Com in 2005
OurBeginning.com[8][12] "Invites" 0:30 Purchased by an undisclosed company in 2002
Pets.com[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
Computer.com "Untitled 1", "Untitled 2"[3] 0:30 each Purchased by Office Depot in 2000[3]
OurBeginning.com "Untitled 1", "Untitled 2", "Untitled 3" 0:30 each Purchased by an undisclosed company in 2002

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Though Britannica.com, 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]

References[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, LifeMinders.com 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 LastMinuteTravel.com's Last-Minute Commercial Are Big Winners", HospitalityNet, 31 January 2000. Accessed February 28, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "OurBeginning.com'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", Emailuniverse.com, 19 July 2001. Accessed February 28, 2014.
  11. ^ White, Erin. "Start-Up OnMoney.com 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]