Hotjobs.com is fed up with a rival getting all the media attention and so is spending half of last year?s revenues on one thirty second advertisement at the Superbowl this week.
The firm is forking out some $2 million to produce and screen its ad on TV during the US's biggest sporting event to up its profile in the war against larger competitor, Monster.com, formerly known as The Monster Board.
Last year, the American football championship game, which is always played on the last Sunday in January, attracted 133 million viewers - a figure that makes some companies believe the investment of $1.6 million for half a minute of advertising is worth it. Fox Broadcasting says it has sold out all 58 spots it had on offer.
The first Internet company to advertise on Super Bowl Sunday was Autobytel in 1996 and again last year. The company, which is heading to Europe and on the verge of going public, claims the money was well spent.
But even announcing the intention to advertise appears to boost sales. When Fox rejected Hotjobs' first ad due to its lack of taste, the subsequent publicity led to an immediate 17 per cent rise in new accounts. Sunday's ad is expected to feature a security guard who fantasises about having a more exciting job.
Hotjobs, which claims its site does not involve headhunters, says it has 660 member companies that advertise vacancies, including Amazon.com, Arthur Andersen, Citibank NA, CNNfn, Disney, and the Ford Motor Co.
The bad news for Richard Johnson, the firm?s president and founder, however, is that Monster.com also plans to advertise at the Super Bowl. But with its larger revenues - believed to be in the region of $30 million - it can afford to pay for three ad spots during the game.
But Johnson was philosophical. "The 'Battle of the Internet Jobs Sites' can only work to dramatically promote the idea of using the power of the Internet to recruit employees or find a new job. We're anticipating that the advertising will generate more attention and activity in the entire Internet recruiting category - which should benefit HotJobs.com and all players," he said.
Another high tech company attempting to make a splash at the Super Bowl is Apple - for the first time in 14 years - but Intel, a Super Bowl stalwart, has bowed out at the last minute.
It had intended to advertise its upcoming Pentium III chips, but decided there was too much of a time lag between Sunday and the launch of the offering on 17 February. However, if Fox cannot sell two of its booked spots, the chip maker will still be charged its $3.2 million fee.
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