Did you go look at it after you saw the Mitsubishi commercial where they were throwing bowling balls and other assorted items out of the back of a truck at the cars? I sure did, and that's exactly what the advertising firm wanted. According to a Business 2.0 article online spending for 2003 was about $7.2 Billion. A lot of the money was spent in search word advertising (you know, sponsored results based on keywords), so a lot of money went to the big search engines like Yahoo!, Google, and AltaVista. Traditional online advertisers like Doubleclick also go their fair share of the money, meaning that companies are trending towards online advertising as their new or expanding medium. According to the article, many of the Yellow Pages online companies expect sponsored results for local business category searches to be big business this year.
Personally, I like the fusion of traditional advertising methods (i.e., tv) with online (see the link in the title of this story). What were the advantages for Mitsubishi? I'm sure there are more than I can come up with, but one obvious one (to me) is that Mitsubishi only had to pay for a 30 second advertising spot (high cost of entry) at tv rates and was able to run the rest of commercial (length not being an option) on the Internet (low cost of entry). Additionally, seewhathappens.com becomes a destination site; I even clicked through some of the car specs after the commercial was over (not that I'm in the market for a car).
Another fusion advertising device that I have seen is soda can advertising that drives you to a website. Instead of the old way of can advertising, "Bring in this can any time between this date range and get $5 your admission to Six Flags," some cans are now simply providing a code that you enter in a site to see what you've won. The advantage to this method (not that the Six Flags method is a bad one if you are in that type of business) is that you can produce the cans, get them in the market, advertise the grand prize, and have other prizes come along later. Additionally, you can dynamically add "prizes" to businesses that need help. In the Six Flags example, if Thursdays in 2004 tend to trend to lower attendance than 2003, Six Flags could offer a better website discount for Thursdays, and more specifically if the third Thursday of every month was especially bad, Six Flags could offer a 2 for 1 or 4 for 1 discount that the code "unlocks" specifically for that date.