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Small Shops Often Aim for Edge in Bowl Ads

"I would think the Super Bowl probably put Go Daddy on the map," says Tom Egelhoff, founder of Small Town Marketing.com. "They were a relatively unknown company a few years ago, but they had some very inventive ads. It was probably a stretch for them to be on there."

Smaller companies that air commercials during the event are "either bringing out new products or trying to build a strong brand, like Go Daddy," Strum says.

Groupon, an online daily coupon service in more than 300 markets and 35 countries, is preparing its first foray into television advertising with a spot during the Super Bowl's pregame show. The site, now in its fourth year, has recently been increasing its exposure.

It reportedly rejected acquisition advances made by Google (GOOG - Get Report) announced three weeks ago that it had received venture capital totaling just under $1 billion.

The Super Bowl will likely be a good venue for Groupon, Strum says.

"They're an emerging company," he says. The commercial will "put them in the spotlight of big business and, given the nature of what they are doing, it makes sense for them."

While Groupon could follow the path of Salesgenie and even Go Daddy, last year's Super Bowl commercial by HomeAway is a good example of how smaller companies can benefit from positive exposure.

The Austin, Texas-based business posted its first Super Bowl ad last year, in which it spoofed the roles of Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo as Clark and Ellen Griswold from the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

"They're back again this year, so clearly it worked," AdAge's Steinberg says.

HomeAway founder and CEO Brian Sharples said in a November release announcing the new ad that the first, "Hotel Hell Vacation," generated a 500% increase in consumer visits to the website the day after the Super Bowl and 1 million incremental page views in a 24-hour period.

The commercial was "widely recognized" by the industry as "one of the best commercials aired during the game for driving business results and engagement ... We've set a high bar to make an even bigger splash with next year's campaign," he said.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact the writer of this article, click here: Laurie Kulikowski.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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