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Super Bowl XXXVIII Advertising Pre-Game

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Super Bowl XXXVIII has become the big game of the year for advertisers. Of course, there's that football showdown thrown into the middle of those commercials.

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.

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