Super Bowl ads a mix of celebs, dogs and a good story
The Super Bowl is expected to be the most watched night on television this year. In 2011, an estimated 111 million people watched the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, making it the most watched TV program of all time. So it's no wonder advertisers are shelling out anywhere from $3 to $4 million per advertising package for the big game, more money than ever before.Special Section: Super Bowl XLVI
"I'd say prices have gone up significantly from last year, when Fox was probably taking in the range of $2.7 million to 3 million for packages," Brian Steinberg, TV editor at Ad Age, told CBSNews.com. "But the ratings growth of the event has really spurred the increase."
You may have already watched some of the commercials that will air on NBC Feb. 5 when the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Indianapolis. This year, advertisers are increasingly rolling out teasers to plug their Super Bowl spots, or are releasing the full-length ads weeks ahead of time.
It's a way for companies to "whet appetites for their advertising," said Steinberg.
And it seems to be working. This year's adorable "Star Wars"-themed "Bark Side" spot for Volkswagon already has more than 9 million views on YouTube - and counting.
As is almost always the case, celebrities will have a place in the ads that fill big-screen TVs all over the world. But this year, there's an emphasis on creating more memorable ads that stay with the viewers long after the last play of the Super Bowl.
"I think the ads this year will be based more on good stories and visually arresting scenes," said Steinberg. "With people talking about the ads for weeks before and days after the event, it's no longer enough just to have a star smile in your commercial. There has to be a bigger concept that people can discuss for a longer period of time."
That means you'll see 60- and 90-second-long spots with more thought-provoking, visually dynamic ads - and fewer frat boy jokes and beer-chugging dudes. To drive that point home even more, Kim Kardashian, who starred in last year's Skechers ad, has been replaced by a French bulldog to plug toning shoes. Say no more.
A focus on the more meaningful side of life doesn't mean stars will be non-existent come Super Bowl Sunday.
"The celebrity angle drums up interest," noted Steinberg, who said there's still a chance a Kardashian may show up in a spot this year.
Go Daddy already released teasers for two spots that will air during Super Bowl XLVI - one featuring health and fitness guru Jillian Michaels and Go Daddy Girl Danica Patrick and the other introducing the new Pussycat Dolls. "That's been their [Go Daddy's] shtick and they're sticking to it," said Steinberg.
Then there's the much-buzzed-about return of "Ferris Bueller," a spot that will feature the film's original star Matthew Broderick. A teaser clip has surfaced, and the latest word on the street is it's a Honda ad, said Steinberg.
Victoria's Secret Angel Adriana Lima will be seen waving a flag at a speedway with rock band Motley Crue in tow for a Kia ad.
Super Bowl Sunday commercials will also feature an entertainment theme. Audi has already unveiled its "Vampire Party" spot, a spoof on the many vampire-themed movies and TV shows of the last few years.
And be on the lookout around the fourth quarter for an ad that some may consider controversial, hints Steinberg.
So get your big-screen TV (we hear there are lots of pre-Super Bowl sales), and while you're at it, grab some chips and dip because this year's Super Bowl ads will be a mix of sexy and sentimental entertainment.
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