Super Bowl commercials have taken on a life of their own over the years. A nuisance in just about every other scenario, ads have developed into a major part of the Super Sunday spectacle, and that presents a golden opportunity for brands across the spectrum.
Spending big money on spots during the Super Bowl does come with risk. However, Stuart Elliott of the New York Times reports that a huge audience is a driver of those prices, as explained by MasterCard Worldwide's Raja Rajamannar.
"Not only are they typically shows that viewers watch in real time, but they also deliver a very targeted viewing audience aligned around a specific passion point, be it sports, music or entertainment," he said.
Some companies have already decided to either release their commercials or at least previews of them to get a jump-start on the Super Bowl hype. Let's check out some of the ads that have a good chance of stealing the spotlight during the big game.
Budweiser ("Puppy Love")
Few brands have done a better job of putting together Super Bowl commercials than Budweiser. By using its Clydesdales, along with several other animals along the way, a connection has been made so that when an ad pops up, it doesn't take long to figure out it's from Bud.
One of the commercials it's putting out this year is "Puppy Love." It follows the story of a little dog who's created a friendship with the horses and keeps sneaking away to play. When he's about to get adopted, the Clydesdales rush in to save the day.
It's one of those heartwarming tales that, while still just a commercial, has a way of leaving a lasting impression on people.
That's key. A commercial might be funny or interesting, but if people instantly forget about it, then it wasn't a success.
Dannon Oikos ("The Spill")
Dannon went with the star power approach to help spotlight its Oikos brand of yogurt. The company brought together a trio of co-stars from Full House—John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier—with hopes that nostalgia would work in its favor.
It also helps that they are making the rounds ahead of the game to bring them back into the spotlight as well. Good Morning America's Twitter account passed along a picture of the sitcom buddies.
For many, it's probably hard to believe the show ended nearly two decades ago, although reruns remain.
While the commercial is already generating a fair amount of hype with a few more days until kickoff, when the entire Super Bowl audience sees it, things should go to another level. That's exactly what Dannon was hoping for when it opted for the reunion.
Coca-Cola ("Going All The Way")
Coca-Cola decided to incorporate football into its Super Bowl commercial. It's a logical option, of course, but a lot of advertisers choose to highlight celebrities or entertainment value over making a connection with the sport itself.
Which of these ads do you like the best?
It's a simple, yet effective, spot that showcases a youth football player who picks up a fumble and just keeps running. After a couple of cuts and several extended runs, he ends up finding himself at Lambeau Field and even attempts his own Lambeau leap, coming up a bit short.
Of course, at the end he's handed a refreshing Coke after the long journey.
It's probably not a spot that's going to win a lot of critical acclaim when all of the ads are being reviewed the day after the Super Bowl, but it should have some staying power, which is the ultimate goal.