Bowled Over by Dot-Com Ads

Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes had a masterful tiptoe catch to win last night's exciting game -- but who needs Holmes when you have a home page?

Yesterday's game certainly carried a whiff of the dot-com bubble days, as several online companies paid up for ads that apparently cost roughly $3 million apiece to air. 

Spots you may or may not have seen last night:

  • Overstock.com (Nasdaq: OSTK  ) took advantage of a last-minute spot to promote its marked-down wares with NBA star Carlos Boozer.
  • The E*Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC  ) Baby returned, this time with a friend who has a penchant for Mr. Mister.
  • Careerbuilder.com and Monster Worldwide's (NYSE:  MWW  ) Monster.com both made the most of workplace volatility to promote their job listings.
  • GoDaddy.com offered a pair of racy ads.
  • William Shatner may not be in the new Star Trek flick, but he was back in command for a more recent priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN  ) spot.
  • NBC parent General Electric made the most of its own airtime, promoting its Hulu.com video-sharing venture with News Corp. (NYSE: NWS  ) .
  • Cars.com introduced us to the confident David Abernathy.

Sure, there were plenty of old-school media advertisers in attendance. That won't ever change. However, the proliferation of online companies should provide at least some comfort to those wondering whether there's cyberspace growth beyond Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) -- which has never had to advertise, anyway.

The dot-com sponsors knew how to play the economic malaise. Boozer talked about saving 40% to 60% off jewelry at Overstock.com. E*Trade emphasized that a crummy economy is the ideal time to reposition a portfolio through the discount broker. GoDaddy drummed up the merits of its cheap domain registrations.

Until we're down to just Google -- yes, Google -- as the lone online advertiser for next year's Super Bowl, the Internet revolution still has a pulse worth taking.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. priceline.com is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.  

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a Miami Dolphins fan, so he hasn't had a rooting interest in a Super Bowl in two dozen years. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has an MVP of a disclosure policy.


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