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It's safe to say the first batch of post-dot-com-bubble brands have come into their own. Brands like Google, eBay, and Amazon. The one thing that sets them apart? They became successful without the support of television advertising to help launch them.

Only in later years have some of these brands tried TV campaigns. For the most part, though, "word of mouse" was, and is, the key to their success.

Google alone has sold $30 billion in advertising since 2001—but has spent nary a dollar itself on commercials, according to the Globe and Mail

"While major rivals...pour more than 20 percent of their annual revenue into sales and marketing, Google devoted 8 percent of its revenue to the category in 2006, spending a total of $849.5 million," the newspaper writes.

Contrast that with competitors that try one TV campaign after another, like Ask, Yahoo, and recently Microsoft's Bing, as each tries for a piece of Google—a tall order.

It's hard to find another brand that hardly spends a dime on advertising yet remains number one in its category.

See what happens when you don't advertise on TV?

Contributed by Bill Green.

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