But for advertisers, as well as consumers, sometimes the commercials are more interesting than the game. Super Bowl XXXVII's 48-21 blowout between Tampa Bay and Oakland is a prime example of the commercials taking center stage on a night that's supposed to be for football fans.
So just what can you expect to see advertising-wise this year? Blown budgets for one.
A Super Bowl ad in 1967 cost a mere $42,000. Super Bowl XXXVIII set a record-breaking rate with a :30 commercial pulling in $2.25 million.
As of this writing, ad space isn't completely sold out. Fourth quarter ads are going at $1.8 million.
That's a steal if the game is a close one. With the history of scores ranging from 55-10 (Super Bowl XXIV), 52-17 (Super Bowl XXVII), 46-10 (Super Bowl XX), all the way to the close ones like 20-19 (Super Bowl XXV), 16-13 (Super Bowl V), 20-17 (Super Bowl XXXVI), banking on a fourth quarter ad getting as much or more exposure as ads in the first half of the game is a gamble.
Some of the major players in this year's Super Bowl advertising include:
- America Online
After losing 600,000 subscribers in a year, AOL's forking over $7.5 million to sponsor the half-time show and will air three :30 spots to promote a technology for broadband and dial-up users called Top Speed.
- Anheuser Busch
Expect to see five minutes worth of ads for Budweiser and Bud Light. A big chunk of Anheuser Busch's ads air in the first quarter. One :60 commercial will air after kickoff and two more :30 spots will air in the first quarter as well. Two :30 commercials will air in each remaining quarter for a grand total of nine spots.