(CBS News) Football isn't the only thing on view during a Super Bowl game. Here's Barbara Lippert of Mediapost.com:
Super Bowl XLVII! Beyonce! Guacomole! The commercials!
That's right. This year, right here on CBS, the spots are going for a shade under $4 million for 30-seconds. Why? Because it's the only live TV event watched by over 100 million fans - i.e., consumers -- as much for the ads as the action.
Over the years, watching for the spots has become part of our national DNA.
It's coming on 30 years since Apple introduced its Macintosh computer to the world with that shocker of a cinematic spot. It set the bar for Super Bowl commercials to come, that whole other game within the game.
From a technological perspective, the Apple spot was predictive. The Internet has revolutionized the process -- for advertisers.
Back In 1999, a Victoria's Secret ad told viewers to go to what was then known as the World Wide Web to watch video of a racy fashion show. That little directive blew up the Internet -- or at least crashed their website for a week.
Over the years, Super Bowl spots have chronicled the dot-com bubble and the dot-com bust. The formula for getting attention has become pretty standard: animals, babies, baby animals, men getting groin injuries, celebrities, supermodels with cleavage -- female AND male.
And the pioneering1984 Apple spot predicted it all -- that sledgehammer shattered the Big Screen into tiny pieces.
Now, we can watch this year's entries simultaneously on many screens -- smartphones, laptops, tablets.
And everything is interactive. Doritos runs a huge contest for consumer-generated spots; two advertisers are letting viewers decide how to end their ads; and Budweiser is having everyone vote for a name for their newest little foal.
Now there's so much tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, YouTubing, online polling and voting going on that every advertiser can prove that its spot is the best (at something).
Last year's showstopper was a total shock: a bold, two-minute grizzled pep-talk for America, that was as much about ourselves as the car.
To drive up hype, the big trend this year is the early release of the entire spots themselves. Rather than guarding their brand messages like military secrets, the majority of advertisers have already shown us their stuff in some form.
We'll see that "Gangnam Style" guy, Apple's new nemeses, and the devil himself. GoDaddy tries to demonstrate that the tech revolution might not be all digital.
And if you don't care for that, there's always the game.
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