The Super Bowl is, for lack of a better phrase, the Super Bowl of the advertising world.The big game may still be weeks away, but advertisers’ wheels have been turning for months to create the perfect Super Bowl spot. Only a handful of 30-second ad spots were left in September, and all 70 slots were filled by Thanksgiving.
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But the 30-second chance to enter the living room of as many as 111 million viewers — the Super Bowl has set the record for the most watched telecast for two years in a row — comes at quite a price. A spokesperson for NBC Sports told Business Insider that while the average cost of a half-minute spot was $3.5 million, some advertisers shelled out as much as $4 million.
That’s up from last year’s average of $3 million per 30-second slot when the Super Bowl aired on Fox. It cost only $2.2 million in 2001 and under $1 million only 20 years ago.
Still, Chris McCloskey, a spokesperson for NBC Sports, told Bloomberg that a few ad buyers have expressed interest in selling their spots if another company offered to pay for their time.
So what can we expect from what are sure to be some of the best (and worse… remember Groupon?) commercials of the year?
While most companies have been hush-hush about their ads’ content, Ad Age reported that viewers can anticipate longer and more story-based Super Bowl ads as opposed ot quick 30-second spots.
“If you’re going to speak to 111 million people, do you really want to tell a fart joke?” Matt MacDonald, executive creative director at WPP’s JWT New York told Brian Steinberg of Ad Age.
Perhaps this is a lesson learned from VW’s wickedly popular, story-based commercial about a little boy in a Darth Vader costume that premiered during the 2011 Super Bowl. “The Force” has pulled in over 45 million views on Facebook since airing last February.
VW, along with the usual suspects of Toyota, Kia, Pepsi, Coke, and GoDaddy, to name a few, will all be returning to the Super Bowl. They will be joined by newcomers Dannon Yogurt — sure to be one of the healthiest foods advertised during the game — and Century 21.
Not all brands, however, will be going the ad agency route. Doritos is continuing its “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign in which fans will vote for the user-created ad that they want to play during the Super Bowl. Chevy has been inspired to use crowdsourcing, as well.
While most advertisers have kept their content hush-hush, some controversies have already emerged.
Over 40,000 people are protesting a Skechers ad that is said to feature greyhound racing (and Mark Cuban). Ad Age has also reported that General Motors is trying to expand on their commercial time by placing their cars in other companies’ advertisements.
NBC Sports told Business Insider that ads will be screened by NBC and the NFL for approval prior to the game.
Assuming the ads make the cut, viewers will be able to watch the ads over and over again if they are watching the game when its streaming online. Although an NBC spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the live stream will feature different ads than those which will be played on TV, viewers will be able to watch the real Super Bowl ads on demand shortly after they broadcast.
For those watching television at home, the mobile app Shazam will also allow users to identify one third of the Super Bowl spots by sound.
Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light is the official -- and exclusive -- beer of the NFL.
Budweiser is famous for its Super Bowl commercials, and the beer company is expected to debut Bud Light Platinum in their 2012 Super Bowl spot. The beer contains 6 per cent alcohol and only has 137 calories. Normal Bud Light is only 4.2 per cent alcohol and 110 calories.
Ad Age reports that A-B typically buys between three and four minutes of ad space.
Audi will make a Super Bowl appearance for the fifth consecutive time.
While Audi's commercials -- created by Bell & Partners -- are known to be funny, the car company might be even more infamous for their hilarious Super Bowl ad teasers. One of last year's teasers featured easy listening saxophonist Kenny G playing a luxury prison Riot Suppressor. (Pictured)
Last year's Best Buy commercial, featuring Ozzie Osbourne and Justin Bieber, was such a success, that Best Buy has purchased another 30-second spot during the 2012 Super Bowl. This is the 45-year old electronic store's second time advertising during the Super Bowl.
Crispin Porter & Bogusky is heading the creative.
Bridgestone Tires, the official 'tire of the Super Bowl', will debut two sports-themed advertisements during the Super Bowl.
Troy Aikman and Deion Sanders are expected to star in the company's football-themed commercial
Cars.com will advertise in the Super Bowl for its fifth consecutive year.
The company's 30-second spot is set to premier in the third quarter.
DDB Chicago developed the ad, which will focus on the site's ability to pick 'the perfect car at the perfect price.'
Century 21 is a newcomer to Super Bowl advertising.
The time realtor will have a 30-second spot in the game's third quarter.
Dannon Yogurt is making its Super Bowl debut this year and will be marketing what is probably the healthiest snack ever to be advertised during the big game.
The 30-second spot will air in the third quarter of the game.
GM's global marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, told USA Today that the car company has secured five slots for the Super Bowl -- four for Chevy and on for Cadillac.
But Ewanick isn't' stopping there. He announced GM's tentative plan to incorporate their cars in other advertisers' slots -- creating a 'Where's Waldo' of sorts during the Super Bowl.
GoDaddy.com has bought two 30-second spots, one for each half of the game.
One spot is expected to feature 'GoDaddy Girl' Danica Patrick and a Pussy Cat Doll. The other will feature 'Biggest Loser' coach Jillian Michaels.
Innocean, Hyundai's internal agency, is said to be making two 30-second spots for the auto maker.
John Kravis, Hyundai's U.S. chief executive officer, told Bloomberg that the South Korean automaker wants to 'turn the needle a little bit in the direction of more entertainment.'
Breaking from their trend of advertising Snickers during the Super Bowl, Mars Inc has decided to buy one 30-second spot in the first quarter to advertise M&Ms.
The ad will be produced by Omnicom Group's BBDO.
While Pepsi was first slated to run two 30-second commercials during the Super Bowl, director Joe Pytka -- who is responsible for some of the Super Bowl's most memorable commercial moments and, of course, 'Space Jam' -- told Ad Age that he's considering doing a 45-second spot for PepsiMax.
Omnicom Group's TBWA is the primary agency for Pepsi.
The 2012 Super Bowl marks Doritos sixth annual 'Crash the Super Bowl' contest. Doritos has asked amateur advertisers to make their own 30-second ad. The winner will air in the Super Bowl and have the opportunity to create an ad with SNL comedy team 'Lonely Island.'
Skechers' 2012 spot is already drumming up controversy for featuring greyhounds racing around a track. (Greyhound racing is criticised for proliferating cruelty against animals).
Although Skechers hasn't confirmed that they have a Super Bowl ad, it has been reported that their spot features Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and small dog in Skechers that is being chased by a pack of greyhound dogs in racing jerseys.
The company's 2011 Super Bowl spot starred Kim Kardashian 'breaking up' with her personal trainer.
Famous for their Star Wars inspired commercial that premiered in the 2011 Super Bowl, VW is at it again and has bought a 60-second spot that will air in the beginning of the third quarter.
This year, Deutsch LA will focus on the 2012 Beetle rather than the Passat.
'The Force' has pulled in over 45 million views on Facebook since airing last February. Can their new ad meet the viewers' high expectations?
Entertainment Weekly reported that the singing competition reality show will have a 60-second spot directed by 'Friday Night Lights' director Peter Berg. The commercial is called 'Vokal Kombat' and will feature a sing-off.
Although ads cost advertisers upwards of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot, 'The Voice' spot will be a promo as the show airs on NBC.
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