Superbowl ads fail to increase Web traffic

Companies that spent big bucks to air advertisements during the Super Bowl did not necessarily see those dollars translate into more visits to their Web sites this year.

Traffic to Super Bowl advertisers’ Web sites saw no dramatic increase during the game this year, according to a figures released Monday by Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM), a Cambridge, Mass.-based content delivery network company. Sites averaged between 150,000 to 200,000 visitors each hour, about the same amount of traffic seen in previous weeks.

Akamai delivered the Web sites and advertising content for approximately half of the companies that aired commercials during the Super Bowl, according to company spokesperson Jeff Young. This year’s advertisments featured fewer commercials with so-called cliff hangers, which drive viewers to a company’s Web site to see the conclusion of the ad, Young said.

“These numbers reflect there wasn’t as much of a push toward the Web this year,” he said. “Many advertisers didn’t even include a Web site or Web component in their ad this year, which perhaps indicates people may be more comfortable now finding them online.”

Web traffic is expected to increase over the course of the day Monday as people head back to the office and check out ads online.

“These ads are so popular people want to replay them again and again online,” said Young.