Hut, hut, HIKE. It’s time for the Super Bowl and with it comes elaborate Super Bowl watching parties taking place at homes, restaurants and sports bars across the country. That means a big spike in business – and paid search results – for restaurants, sports bars and even supermarkets.

Local bars and restaurants will see a burst of traffic among people looking to create a social, lively Super Bowl experience. In turn, supermarkets will see their sales magnify, both online and offline, among people looking to stock up on snacks and beverages for a more private Super Bowl experience at home. With an estimated 100 million viewers expected to tune into Super Bowl 2011, it’s touted, and rightfully so, as one of the most coveted, highly effective and expensive marketing channels for brands, whether they’re new to the scene, small start-ups in need of big exposure or simply an older brand looking to reinvent its image.

No matter what the impetus for getting your brand in front of the Super Bowl audience, simply making a commercial that’ll make you spit up your beer it’s that funny just won’t cut it anymore. Brands need to couple their cutting-edge, hilarious Super Bowl ads with smart search tactics. For example, putting a unique link in your Super Bowl ad will allow you to track and analyze just how many viewers you are generating from each Super Bowl ad. If you don’t know where people are coming from and how many are watching each commercial viewing, it’s less likely that you can prove ROI to senior management and make the case for a Super Bowl ad the following year.

Now let’s not forget that search results will get a big boost in the home cities of both championship teams (Pittsburgh and Green Bay) and of course, Cowboys Stadium in Dallas where the Steelers and Packers will face off for the chance to be Super Bowl Champions 2011. According to NFL officials, in-stadium attendance is expected to hit close to 100,000 for this year’s Super Bowl. The stadium and local establishments in Dallas – from restaurants, bars, supermarkets, hotels, trains and even gas stations – clearly have their work cut out for them to maximize online marketing, if they want to make a marketing touchdown with consumers.

Author: Lorne Landsman, Vice President/Search Manager, Elite SEM