Super Bowl Ad Hurls Hulu Forward in February

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Some people say the Super Bowl isn’t what it used to be, and that the value of advertising during “the Big Game” isn’t necessarily worth the money it costs to put a few seconds of video in front of a beer-and-guacamole-guzzling audience. However, Fox/NBC online video joint venture Hulu might disagree: according to media metrics firm comScore, Hulu say its traffic surge by 55 percent during February 2009. The success was enough to drive Hulu up to 7.8 million unique visitors for the month and make the site the second-fastest growing property in comScore’s monthly analysis.

Other leading categories included Valentine’s Day-related sites and services (flowers, gifts, and online greeting cards) along with travel and tax preparation sites. But the top gainer for the month according to comScore? Mozilla, publishers of the FireFox Web browser. They saw a 61 percent rise in traffic in February along with almost 23 million unique visitors.

comScore credits Hulu’s surge largely to a clever television advertisement—the site’s first—featuring smarmy 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin.

Overall, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft sites kept ahold of the top three spots in terms of the raw number of visitors during the month of February: Google saw over 148 million unique visitors, Yahoo sites saw over 144 million unique visitors, and Microsoft sites saw over 121 million unique visitors. AOL and Fox sites rounded out the top five with 105 million and almost 85 million unique visitors for the month, respectively.