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Super Bowl Advertising 2.0
You'd think that advertisers paying big bucks for Super Bowl commercials would get the most for their money by exploiting online or mobile video tie-ins, but that wasn't always the case. Here are the top five big winners—and a few losers—in cross-platform advertising's big game.
Mon., Feb. 5, by Tejpaul Bhatia and Jim Hopkinson

Unlike most Super Bowl party hosts-who offer their guests chips, salsa, beer, and wings with no strings attached-we put our guests to work last night. We watched the game on an HDTV set, fired up the DVR, powered up the laptops, got the cell phones ready, and put together the most forward-thinking top ten Super Bowl commercials list on the market. As you can see from the title, we had to cut our list in half by the time the game was over. We weren't disappointed by the results, but were a bit surprised to see such little cross-platform innovation by last night's advertisers. It is not news that consumers are inherently multi-platform these days: they invest in expensive TVs, triple play services, DVRs, hyper-connected PC's, high-tech smartphones, portable media devices, video game consoles, and much more. You would think that with all the money spent on Super Bowl commercials (a reported price tag of $2.6 million per spot) that some advertisers would find innovative and efficient ways to get the most for their money. You would think.

Our task was simple: find the best multi-platform advertisers of Super Bowl XLI. The judging process was simple too: which advertisers best utilized multiple platforms (TV, PC, mobile) to get their message across?

We noticed some interesting trends:
* There was little to no mobile integration in the commercial spots.
* Many advertisers, including those with micro-sites, did not buy Google keywords.
* The blogosphere and social networks were mostly ignored.
* User-generated content made its way to the television set in the form of competitions and pre-game marketing.
* Having a URL at the end of a spot is now commonplace, yet two tried and true Super Bowl advertisers (Budweiser and Coke) chose not to do so.
* Two mainstream advertising segments (automotive and film) stayed pretty true to form and didn't push the envelope at all.

You can see all the spots on YouTube. And the best multi-platform commercials of Super Bowl XLI are . . .

The Top 5

# 5. Sales Genie
Cracking our top five was unheard-of newcomer SalesGenie.com. While it's easy to poke fun at the cheesy actors starring in a spot that played out as half late-night infomercial, half Saturday Night Live skit, it's tough to argue with their execution. Once you get past the clichés-the red Ferrari, the office blonde, the kiss-up boss, even the "work smarter, not harder" quote-they hammer home the call to action by promoting the web URL on a computer screen showing the product, in the voiceover, and in bold letters to end the spot.

Figure 1

Once you're on their micro site, they offer a simple football-themed rating graphic to let you provide feedback on the 2007 spot (which forwards to a lead-generation page), send-to-a-friend functionality, and a form to share your ideas for a 2008 commercial, which could get you a free Ferrari t-shirt and a chance to win Super Bowl tickets.