Super Bowl 40 will air Sunday on the ABC television network and advertisers will be paying top-dollar to show their products to the huge audience expected for the game.
Last year more than 133 million Americans tuned in for the National Football League's title match-up, with nearly one billion viewers around the world. According to industry sources, the cost of a 30-second commercial during the U.S. telecast will average $2.5 million, $100,000 more than last year and a new record. For those inclined to do the math, that works out to more than $83,000 a second.
Even with another high-profile media event, the Winter Olympics, set to kick off in Turin, Italy five days after the Super Bowl, advertisers have not balked at paying premium prices. Emerald Nuts is advertising again after their Super Bowl ad was a big hit last year and helped sales more than double. It featured a unicorn and other fantasy figures.
In a beer commercial, a cocky cockatiel defended a lady's honor in a bar.
As always, humor is expected to dominate the Super Bowl ads.
The Ford Motor Company used this commercial to build anticipation of a new Mustang convertible. A policeman tapped a driver frozen solid in the icy winter weather with a big grin on his face.
"You just don't introduce a convertible this irresistible in the middle of winter. Coming this spring, the Mustang convertible," the announcer says.
Some advertisers, such as Visa and McDonald's, have decided to skip the Super Bowl in favor of the Olympics. But others have decided that advertising during both makes sense.
Huge companies including long-time Super Bowl advertisers Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, and General Motors will be back, joined by names as CareerBuilder.com, Ameriquest Mortgage, Toyota, Bayer and Federal Express.
Many advertisers agree, no matter which teams are competing, the Super Bowl remains the premier advertising showcase of the year, and is too big to be ignored. Emerald Nuts advertising executives say they plan to build on the awareness generated by their Super Bowl spot and reinforce it by advertising in the Olympics.