AT&T Ads Outrun Dot-Com Competition in Super Bowl

Like the St. Louis Rams, HotJobs (Nasdaq: HOTJ – news), and E*Trade (NYSE: ET – news) were edged out in Super Bowl XXXVI as AT&T Wireless’ mLife joined the New England Patriots in the winner’s circle. According to a survey by Jupiter Media Metrix (Nasdaq: JMXI – news), AT&T cashed in on its Super Bowl ad campaign to promote its new mLife wireless brand, registering 681,000 unique visitors on game day, up from 34,000 the day before.

Get an mLife

“mLife really came out of nowhere,” said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of media research at Jupiter Media Metrix, adding that the surge in Web traffic “bordered on breathtaking.”

Buchwalter added that most of this year’s Super Bowl ads were for familiar e-commerce brands that are likely to enjoy longer-term results, but the novelty of the mLife ad campaign led to immediate online response.

Of those who visited the mLife site on Super Bowl Sunday, 23 percent viewed the registration page and 5 percent actually completed the registration process.

“A 5 percent response rate is a reasonably healthy number for a brand-new brand,” Buchwalter said.

Pepsi, which ran ads featuring Britney Spears, also saw visits to its site increase during the game.

Also-Ran Ads

According to the Jupiter report, traffic to other advertisers — including HotJobs, Monster, Schwab and E*Trade — remained steady or decreased slightly, which Buchwalter said was “no particular surprise.”

Monster’s visitor numbers dropped from 652,000 on Saturday to 473,000 on Sunday, and the number of HotJobs visitors fell from 360,000 on Saturday to 299,000 on Sunday.

Unlike the mLife ads, those developed by Monster and HotJobs were not necessarily meant to drive immediate visits to their Web sites.

“Monster and HotJobs are destinations that people are utilizing anyway,” Jupiter analyst Patrick Keane said.

Super Bowl traffic to HotJobs was down from the previous week but up significantly from two weeks before the game, largely due to the online ad campaign the company has been running for the last six to seven weeks, Keene said.

Monday, Monday

Mark Karasu, director of advertising and marketing at HotJobs, pointed out that because of the nature of career sites, they may have seen increased traffic on the Monday after the Super Bowl rather than on game day itself.

In fact, Monster claimed that in the 24-hour period after the Big Game, it recorded more than 28 million page views, up 167 percent from Super Bowl Sunday and up 57 percent from the same period last year.

The number of job seekers increased 93 percent the day after the game, according to the company, while resume submissions increased 84 percent.

The only site to show a decline in Web traffic from last year’s Super Bowl Sunday was E*Trade, which this year used its Super Bowl spots to launch its new brand identity — E*Trade Financial.

According to Jupiter’s measurements, traffic to the E*Trade site fell to 120,000 unique visitors on Sunday from 174,000 the day before the game.