What ad sites will crash during the Super Bowl?

IT service predicting which ad sites are likely to go kaput during the big game

We get a lot of pitches from companies during the Super Bowl week, but this one intrigued us more than others - web site optimizer site Yottaa is predicting which Super Bowl advertiser sites are likely to crash or slow down significantly during the game.

Yottaa says there are many reasons why these sites will likely have performance issues, including "improperly integrated social media widgets, bloated images and the use of CDNs with variable performance histories". The company says it has reviewed the front-end performance (how many assets are loaded, size of Web pages, types of widgets used) of the Super Bowl advertiser's sites to make its predictions. The company says the top four sites that will crash during the Super Bowl include:

#1: Cars.com

#2: GoDaddy.com

#3: Taxact.com

#4: History.com

Based on what the company has released so far in terms of their advertising, I'm not particularly sold that there will be a mad rush to head to these sites during the game (apart from GoDaddy, for obvious reasons). Here's the Cars.com ad that's been previewed, which I find really creepy for some reason:

For the folks at GoDaddy, you would think that having been in the Super Bowl ad game business for several years now, that they would have a better handle on their content delivery network and web site performance issues. In this case, maybe it's the content of their ads that will likely draw people to the site on game day (they always do a "For the unrated content, go to the site" message on their ads). Interestingly, I found that their 2012 preview ads actually talk about technology terms (the .co domain and cloud services) that go beyond the typical mainstream TV viewer:

The folks at Taxact.com haven't posted their ad online yet, but instead have a bunch of teaser ads with the tagline of "The Free is Coming", with a scary movie-like vibe with a kid in a pool, a yawning cat, etc. Remember, folks, these are ads for an online tax preparation site:

I'm rooting for this site to crash during the game - not because I have anything against the company, but rather that their ads are so annoying and stupid. The current ad for the site, which I had to endure during the NFL Playoffs, features a cab driver named "Mama" who yells at her two passengers after they complain about paying for a tax return: If you haven't been subjected to this torture, watch this ad:

I know that these are ads, but I prefer to have at least some semblance of internal logic when watching an ad scenario play out. First, a cab driver should care less about what two customers are talking about inside their cab. Second, "Mama" kicks the two customers out of the cab - whaaa? Third, she then yells at the ad viewer to go to Taxact.com and "Tell 'em Mama sent ya." It's not a good ad when you want to punch Mama in the face.

The fourth site on the Yottaa list is History.com, a first-time Super Bowl advertiser that plans on showing a preview for the third season of Swamp People, which debuts on Feb. 9 (four days after the Super Bowl). It probably made this list for the fact that they're a first-timer, not because their ad is so compelling that people will want to go to the site. This ad may not be the one they're running, but it's the closest one I could find with a Season 3 preview:

Yottaa also predicted three sites that will "slow down the most" during the Super Bowl:

#1 Coke.com: This is likely because of Coke's social media campaign during the game - the site "CokePolarBowl.com" is a site hosted within Facebook, and the animated polar bears watching the game will respond in real time during the game's action, including when a team scores a touchdown, has a turnover, or if a bad call is made. Coke also plans to post Twitter updates from the bears during the game.

#2: Kia.com: Their ad, previously featured here, includes Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima (for reasons, see GoDaddy, above).

#3: Budlight.com Interestingly, Anheuser-Busch hasn't jumped on the "we'll release our ads early" bandwagon as much as other advertisers, but there is likely to be a bunch of Budweiser and "funny" Bud Light ads, as well as the heartwarming, heart-string-tugging Clydesdales.

Yottaa says it will be tracking all of the advertisers' sites during the Super Bowl at this site, so you can see if their predictions were right or not during or after the game.

Read more of Keith Shaw's ITworld.TV blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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