What Do You Get For $100k A Second? A Drop In Traffic

Feb 9, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Compete has a report on the impact of last week’s Super Bowl ads on traffic to advertiser sites and, Ouch!, for the millions Monster (site; profile) and CareerBuilder (site; profile) spent, they got nothing. Actually, less than nothing. The Compete report says their sites saw declines in reach of 18 percent and 17 percent respectively.

Denny’s, on the other hand, saw a lift in its site traffic on Super Bowl Sunday of nearly 1,700 percent. A traffic bump to the site was to be expected, since the ad was promoting a free breakfast, and users had to go to the website to get the details. The next biggest traffic bump was to Frito-Lays’ Traffic there rose 313 percent on game day, as compared to the average reach of the previous week.

Monster ran two ads, one of them a co-promotion with the NFL for the job of Director of Fandemonium. CareerBuilder’s 60 second spot, you may recall, was the one featuring a stuffed Koala getting socked and ending with a guy in a Speedo on the phone in an office cubicle.

Now, in the interest of fairness we doubt either company was expecting a big game-day jump in traffic to their job boards. (Compete didn’t provide details on whether it included traffic to the Fandemonium site.) As Compete itself points out:

“Service-based advertisers such as Monster, CareerBuilder,, and E-trade actually saw notable declines in site reach on the day of the game. Aside from branding, from a direct response respective these spots were targeted only at a subset of the viewing audience that is currently “in-market” for a new career, vehicle or investment account.”

Just to double-check, we consulted Alexa, another web traffic counting site. Like Compete, it has its faults, but it, too shows the Sunday traffic drop, giving the results a little more context by showing weekend drops are typical. (Illustrating the point that people look for jobs during the weekday, at work.) And even those who go job surfing over the weekend apparently decided to take Super Bowl Sunday off.

Still, a double-digit decline? After spending $3 million for every 30 seconds? During what is turning out to be the worst job market in 35 years?

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.