A television commercial used to have one shot at greatness: when it ran on television.
These days, a stint on TV is only the first stage of a commercial’s life. A typical trajectory takes it from its original run to video-sharing Web sites like YouTube and Google Video, or to sites like AdvertisementAve.com and Adcritic.com that collect and archive commercials.
Lately, more marketers have tried to compete with those Web sites by streaming ads and creating archives of their own. Volkswagen, known for its distinctive advertising, keeps more than 20 commercials under the “VW Life” section of its Web site. DHL, a delivery unit of Deutsche Post, has an extensive archive that contains ads from two years and four campaigns ago. Bud Light now allows visitors to e-mail its ads or download them onto iPods.
The archives and e-mail features are more ways for advertisers to get as much mileage out of their commercials as possible, at a time when scores of consumers use digital video recorders to fast-forward through ads when they are first shown.