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Superbowl Ads

(February 6, 2007)
In 1999, Jeff Taylor spent $4M to buy three 30 second Superbowl ads. To handle the traffic, he spent another $700K on web servers. (see this CNN story). The investment yielded huge spikes in traffic. This was 15% to 18% of Monster's advertising budget for 1999. Here is a classic from that time, and another.

It was a response to the prior year's gambit by HotJobs. In 1998, HotJobs became the smallest company to ever purchase Super Bowl advertising time. The company spent over $2M or more than half of 1997 revenues. A year later, Richard Johnson (founder of HotJobs) said, "Since airing the spot, our member companies and job seekers have doubled in number, and our revenues have increased by 82%."

In web time, eight years is an eternity. Those two tiny companies have evolved into forces of nature in the Recruiting economy. The newspaper industry's alternative, CareerBuilder, wasn't even a twinkle in an eye. (To be fair, CareerBuilder existed. It simply was a private operation. The current entity is a combination of Headhunter.com, CareerPath.com, CareerBuilder.com and a great deal of investment by the newspaper industry.)

Today, CareerBuilder is carrying on the tradition started by the two giants of early job board history. Arguably the largest job board, CareerBuilder is able to use the video advertising medium to reinforce its message. In the early days, the ads had to reinforce the message that the medium worked.

If you take a look at this YouTube page, you'll find six CareerBuilder video ads including the three that were a part of the Superbowl this past weekend. (Here are all of the careerbuilder ads in the YouTube Archives). The material is a treasure trove of good humor and well executed advertising. These days, CareerBuilder is setting the standard for advertising about our business. Here's our favorite.

Our industry is a story of learning how to take well calculated risks. The first guy looks like a maniac to everyone else. By the second year, the investment works and can be budgeted. A decade later, the delivery of the once new, risky media play is a sane alternative for the industry (just look at the large number of CareerBuilder ads on You Tube)

Here's one from Jobster, WorkGiant, and VidRez. We loved this spoof of the When I grow Up campaign and this one.

"When I grow up, I want to use words no one understands and convince myself I am no longer the geek I was in high school and have people wonder what I do all day long."

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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