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Super Bowl Ads: From GoDaddy To Wix, Web-Service Marketers Flock To Big Game

The biggest Super Bowl ad battle in 2015 has something small at stake. No less than three companies aiming to capture the interest of the nation’s entrepreneurs and small business leaders.

Wix.com, a web-services company making its debut as a Super Bowl advertiser, intends to launch a campaign featuring five famous NFL players NFL – Brett Favre, Terrell Owens, Emmitt Smith, Larry Allen and Franco Harris – as they make transitions from athletes to chiefs of their own start-ups. Wix will play a key role in helping them get there, and a 30-second spot set to air in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIX slated to air on NBC February 1 will offer more of their antics. Owens stars in a teaser ad slated to debut Wednesday.

If Wix services don’t sound as sexy or as easy-to-understand as a luxury automobile or a can of beer, well, tough. Wix joins two other web-services providers who want to help small business owners get ahead and who will use the Super Bowl broadcast to do so. GoDaddy has been a Super Bowl advertiser for more than a decade and will run a single 30-second spot during the game featuring longtime spokeswoman Danica Patrick and a puppy. Squarespace, a New York company that helps people build web sites, is returning to the Super Bowl for its second year.

Wix estimates the market for such services will total $50 billion in 2015, citing data from Verisign, and expects consumers to lauch 90 million web sites this year, making the Super Bowl a good tool to help get the word out about its services to a broad crowd.

Like many other Super Bowl advertisers, Wix expects to tap social media to help emphasize its message in the weeks before the broadcast. Each player’s professional website s will be launched in coming days and include more information and even purchasable products. People who want to follow along can track the hashtag #ItsThatEasy and check out various creative at a “hub” website that will go live at a later time.

This isn’t the first time the Super Bowl has helped create heat around a category that might be considered a little esoteric. For several years, online-recruitment site Monster.com was a Super Bowl perennial, making its biggest mark in 1999 with an ad from Interpublic Group’s Mullen agency featuring children spouting soul-killing career goals. “When I grow up, I want to claw my way up to middle management,” says one kid. The company often found itself tilting against Yahoo’s HotJobs site. Later on, Careerbuilder ran Super Bowl ads between 2005 and 2012 featuring a bunch of monkeys who took over an office, among other concepts.

Ad aficionados will have to tune in to see whether the Super Bowl features more web-services companies than car advertisers. Automakers, who have dominated the ad roster of the game for the last few years, are said to be pulling back for the 2015 event, though Nissan and Toyota have already confirmed they will hawk their cars during the event.

In 2014, the Super Bowl featured two different ads for chocolate candies – Mars’ M&Ms and Nestle’s Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups as well as two different kinds of Greek yogurt, Dannon’s Oikos and Chobani. The danger for these marketers is that consumers will remember the type of product being sold but not be able to differentiate between the different brands.

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