The Super Bowl is a must-watch TV event, if not for the outcome of the biggest football game of the year, then at least for the multi-million dollar commercials that run throughout. And this year’s buzzworthy spots include celebrity appearances, homages to movies and lots of humor.
Big budget, big buzz
This year, the average price for a 30-second spot in the big game is $3.5 million, according to The Telegraph.
"The Super Bowl is the one time of the year, the one event where most viewers embrace the commercials," said Abhi Biswas, a University of Texas - Dallas marketing professor in the Naveen Jindal School of Management. "Studies show people are actually taking their breaks during the game so they can come back, grab a seat on the couch and watch the ads."
Many advertisers have been able to generate early buzz about their commercials by releasing teasers or even full or extended versions on the Internet. Check out a selection of some of those ads below.
The Coca-Cola polar bears are back, but which ad of theirs runs during the Super Bowl will depend on who is winning. If the 2nd quarter is particularly stressful for the New England Patriots, then the ad will feature a bear sporting a Patriots scarf grabbing a Coke, and making a mad scramble to catch it.
The setting is the frozen tundra, where an Eskimo and his dog sled team ride off into the horizon. They return in the evening in a new Suzuki Kizashi, with 50 Cent's "Movin' On Up" blaring in the speakers while the dogs and their human relax in the car. But how will the man’s wife react? Watch the spot to see.
Fan-favorite Budweiser will have six different spots in this year's Super Bowl, including one in the second quarter they're simply calling a "secret spot." Other ads will feature the factory where Bud Light Platinum is created, an office setting, the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, a rescue dog and a highlight reel of American achievements. Here's a sneak peek at one of those spots.
Volkswagen produced one of the most memorable ads from 2011 – "The Force" featured a little boy dressed as Darth Vader, trying to use “the force” to control things around his house. VW is back this year with another entertaining ad featuring an out-of-shape dog, and a later homage to the Star Wars theme from last year’s spot. Watch the extended version below.
Lexus is making its Super Bowl debut with a spot dubbed, "The Beast." It features the company’s new 2013 GS as it breaks free from containment, and it also hints at the additional new vehicles Lexus will unveil later in the year.
In Audi's commercial, the car-maker pays tribute (or perhaps just makes fun of) the "Twilight" craze with a spot dubbed "Vampire Party." It features a young, attractive man driving an Audi. And he just happens to have fangs. He’s bringing a case of blood to a remote but boisterous vampire party in the woods. But what happens when he arrives is unexpected and hilarious.
This spot features comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno – both avid car collectors – engaging in some crazy antics to try to be the first in line to get a new Acura NSX. Check out the extended version of the spot below.
This commercial is the latest entry in the cola wars. It features a Pepsi competitor’s deliveryman trying to discreetly buy a bottle of Pepsi MAX when he becomes the grand prize winner of "Pepsi MAX for Life." As a surprise "on the spot" reporter, Regis Philbin appears to get the embarrassed driver's thoughts on his big win.
What other things could Toyota make better? That’s the premise of the car-maker's Super Bowl ad, and the result is a funny mixture of pizza curtains, poop-less babies and crime-fighting house plants. A 30-second version will air during the game, but here is the 60-second version.
The tire maker tries its hand at creating sports equipment in this new ad. Bridgestone’s spot features big-name athletes using tire-tread footballs, basketballs and even hockey pucks. Check out the teaser.
The ad getting perhaps the biggest pregame buzz is one that pays homage to a classic 1980s movie, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The Honda CR-V ad features Matthew Broderick as himself, skipping out on a day of work on a movie set to enjoy life in his new CR-V. A teaser for the spot was released last week, and the full version has since hit YouTube, already garnering more than 10 million views.
Which Doritos ads air during the Super Bowl is entirely in the hands of fans. The company received more than 6,000 entries in its "Crash the Super Bowl" challenge, and viewers can go to crashthesuperbowl.com before the game to cast their vote for their favorites among five finalists. The top two vote-getters will debut during the game.
- CNHI/SE Iowa
7 great holiday stories for season's readings
Holiday-themed movies and TV shows get the most attention during this time of year. But there are just as many, if not more, beloved books that contain cherished Christmas stories -- some of which get shared across generations.
VIDEO: World reacts to death of Mandela
Nelson Mandela spent nearly a third of his life as a prisoner of apartheid before leading South Africa in a relatively peaceful transition of power that inspired the world. The iconic figure died Thursday at the age of 95.
Lighted Christmas Parade brings out spirit of the season
Cold temperatures didn't keep people away from Oskaloosa's annual holiday parade.
VIDEO: Wedding crashed by Ironman, Batman, knights and more
This entertaining wedding featured a duel between knights, cameo appearances by Batman and Ironman, and a wide array of unexpected wedding crashers.
A 67-year-old caroling tradition
Ruthanna Weber, 98, has been organizing a Kenwood, Md., caroling tradition since World War II when she was in the Navy.
South Africans mourn Nelson Mandela's death
South Africans flocked to the Johannesburg home of Nelson Mandela to mourn his death and pay tribute to a leader who led the nation out of racial discord by encouraging reconciliation.
Nelson Mandela dies at 95
Nelson Mandela,95, anti-apartheid icon and former South African president, has died.
Washington woman unknowingly live-tweets husband's death
A Washington state woman known for monitoring police scanners unknowingly live-tweeted about a fatal car wreck Wednesday, initially unaware that the victim was her husband.
VIDEO: Gun control ad recounts Newtown shooting
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America partnered with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to commemorate the Dec. 14 one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. A new TV ad created by the group shows a gunman entering a school at the same time Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook.
VIDEO: The world's worst 'selfie' snaps
People have been taking the "selfie" trend to the extreme, snapping pictures of themselves at the worst times and in the worst places. One girl, who took a photo of herself with a bridge jumper in the background, may just top the list.
- More CNHI/SE Iowa Headlines
- 7 great holiday stories for season's readings