84 Lumber, a materials business, ran a spot during the Super Bowl that invited viewers to its online site for the conclusion of the ad.  The site was overwhelmed with a deluge of viewers.  Within one minute of the ad’s appearance, the company received 300,000 hits to its web site,  twice the site’s capacity to handle the flow.  Predictably, the site seized and tens of thousands were turned away.  This was a rookie error.  When dealing with online, especially after an ad viewed by millions, one should set up for a surge that is many times the size of one’s normal viewership.  It is a costly mistake to be caught short as 84 Lumber was.  The company will know the next time it tries a multimedia approach like this, but that doesn’t make up for the error this time.  

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