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Feb 8, 2005

Super Bowl Ad Campaigns Send Viewers Rushing to the Web

RESTON, Va., Feb. 8, 2005 - comScore Networks today released an analysis of the online impact of Super Bowl XXXIX.  In 2005, consumers came to expect that many Super Bowl commercials will deliver a call to online action, whether to learn more about an intriguing product, enter a sweepstakes or make sense of a purposefully vague advertisement. 


According to a comScore survey conducted in the week preceding the Super Bowl,* viewers were well prepared for advertisements both on television and on the Web.  Fully 28 percent of those planning to watch the Super Bowl reported that "watching the ads" would be their favorite aspect of the game, and 77 percent of respondents reported that they expected to use the Internet on game day. Was This Year's Top Gaining Advertiser Site

When asked to select which three brand advertisements they most look forward to seeing, 80 percent of survey respondents chose Budweiser/Bud Light.  The brewer did not disappoint, based upon online activity; this year's top gaining advertiser Web site was, which saw traffic increase by almost 600 percent on Super Bowl Sunday compared to the average of the four previous Sundays.  Moreover, the site was up significantly for much of the week leading up to the Super Bowl as users visited in search of an ad spoofing Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction," which Budweiser reportedly pulled from its Super Bowl lineup.


An undoubtedly controversial ad by Web services company drove traffic to that site 378 percent above average, while technophiles and others seeking more information about the Olympus m:robe portable media player turned up traffic volume at by 363 percent.


Apple iTunes saw a more than 170-percent jump in site traffic driven largely by the second annual Pepsi promotion offering the chance to win free songs through the pay-per-download music service; Napster, which advertised for the first time as a rival to iTunes, posted a greater than 30-percent increase on Super Bowl

Sunday.  A commercial promoting the Cadillac V-Series throttled traffic to 171 percent above average, while a pair of advertisements for Ameriquest Mortgage Company, in addition to sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime show, nearly doubled activity at the lender's Web site.


Top Gaining Advertiser Web Sites

Super Bowl Sunday Compared to the Average of the Four Previous Sundays

Total U.S. - Home, Work, and University Locations

Source: comScore Media Metrix


% Change







Apple iTunes














Traffic Spikes Correlated to Time of TV Advertisement


With PCs within the reach of many Super Bowl viewers during the game, traffic spiked dramatically at the Web sites of several game sponsors within minutes of their commercials' airtime.  comScore analyzed traffic levels to major advertisers' sites in 30-minute periods throughout the day compared to the average half hour, and discovered that:


·         Traffic at Cadillac's Web site shot up by more than 1,700 percent after the company first ran its commercials advertising the high-performance V-Series and directing viewers to  When the commercial ran again in the second half of the game, traffic soared by almost 500 percent.

·         The number of visitors to grew by as much as 1,600 percent compared to the daily average, following a somewhat risqué commercial that satirized government indecency hearings.

·         Although iTunes turned in stronger growth than Napster for the full day, both sites increased visitor levels by almost 300 percent above the 30-minute average following their respective commercials.  This year, traffic at iTunes peaked just after the advertisement featuring the Pepsi-iTunes promotion, unlike last year when more visitors waited until halftime to explore the iTunes site.

·         With clever commercials but perhaps less of a call to action, Ameriquest Mortgage did not see any noticeable spikes immediately after the airing of its commercials; however, during the halftime show sponsored by the company, the audience at jumped 700 percent.

· saw increases of more than 300 percent after the airing of each of two ads for the Ridgeline, the automaker's first-ever pickup truck.


Note:  Unless otherwise noted, comparisons reflect increases in site visitors for the 30-minute period spanning each brand's television advertisements versus average traffic in all 30-minute time blocks on game day.


Sports Sites Score as Fans Follow Along Online

With a wealth of information beyond the TV broadcast about teams, players and plays, sports sites saw expected gains on Super Bowl Sunday.  Compared to the four previous Sundays, the sites of the Super Bowl XXXIX competitors saw the biggest gains, with the Patriots coming out on top (230 percent to 89 percent), just as they did in the game itself.


Not surprisingly, official site saw a significant increase of 88 percent on game day. gained 45 percent on Super Bowl Sunday, as Americans flocked to the sites to buy Super Bowl merchandise.  Finally, buoyed by FOX's coverage of the game and constant references to the Web site in the in-game ticker, FOX Sports on MSN saw a 38-percent visitation increase, while the sports entities of major Web properties such as Yahoo! and AOL also earned substantial gains.


Top Gaining Sports Sites

Super Bowl Sunday Compared to the Average of the Four Previous Sundays

Total U.S. - Home, Work, and University Locations

Source: comScore Media Metrix


% Change

NFL Internet Group










FOX Sports on MSN


Yahoo! Sports




AOL Sports





"We see continue to see advertisers growing more sophisticated in developing integrated campaigns that span different media," said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of comScore Media Metrix. "The Super Bowl offers an ideal opportunity to pique interest via television, and follow through online where marketers can make more enduring connections with consumers."


*Based on a comScoreQ2 survey of 1,530 U.S. participants in the comScore consumer panel, conducted January 28-31, 2005.  A press release announcing the results of the survey is available at the following address:



About comScore Media Metrix

comScore Media Metrix, a division of comScore Networks, provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report - with unmatched accuracy - details of online media usage, visitor demographics and online buying power for the home, work and university audiences across local U.S. markets and across the globe.  comScore Media Metrix continues the tradition of quality and innovation established by its Media Metrix syndicated Internet ratings - long recognized as the currency in online media measurement among financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers - while drawing upon comScore's advanced technologies to address important new industry requirements.  All comScore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.


About comScore Networks

comScore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore explicit permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its patent-pending technology, comScore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes.  comScore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI.  comScore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Nestlé, Bank of America, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, GlaxoSmithKline and Orbitz.  For more information, please visit

Andrew Lipsman
comScore Networks
(312) 775-6510