A look ahead at Sunday's Super Bowl ads

February 2, 2011 1:04:32 AM PST
There is a big television event this Sunday and between that big event, they're going to play some football. Of course many tune into see the mega-ads that will air on Super Bowl Sunday.

If commercials cost $3 million for a 30-second spot, you've just watched $500,000 worth of GoDaddy.com.

Do you remember the success Betty White had with Snickers? This time, Richard Lewis and Roseanne have a series of ads for the candy bar. Snickers is one of the many Super Bowl sponsors willing to spend the money.

"Not only do you get great coverage in the game, but now with social media, you get repeat viewing; 45 percent of the people are going to watch the ads they like online," says Lucy Farey-Jones from Venables Bell and Partners.

So Super Bowl ads have legs. Farey-Jones is one of the founding partners of San Francisco ad agency Venables, Bell & Partners which has produced Audi's ad for the fourth year.

Most often humor works.

Farey-Jones described, "Two pretty well dressed guys trying to escape from a luxury prison."

Younger Americans are now intrigued by Super Bowl. Best Buy understands that and is using the unlikely combination of Justin Beiber and Ozzie Osborne.

"Yes, it's weird. Distracted, yet engaged, and so 44 percent of them say they will be texting about what they're seeing. So I think the opportunity is to really make a play for that audience," says Farey-Jones.

Among the big spenders, is a series of ads that almost defies convention. Doritos and Pepsi Max team up again for the "Crash the Super Bowl Challenge." There were more than 5,000 entries and six finalists will air on Sunday. One of them cost just $30.

To succeed commercials need to be entertaining and relevant. And of course, there is a loyalty to brands that are there every year.

"It's one of the few times the nation gathers together metaphorically around this game," says Farey-Jones.