NFL Superbowl Commercials Ads

The Super Bowl is as much a championship for advertising as it is for football. Big companies like Pepsi and FedEx spend millions to reinforce established brands, while upstarts like Salesgenie.com or GoDaddy try to gain brand recognition with controversial or aggressive Super Bowl ads. Whether large or small, companies hope that the high cost of entry - $2.7 million for a 30-second commercial - will make their Super Bowl advertising investment worthwhile.

Sometimes it works. Apple's famous 1984 Super Bowl ad for the Macintosh brought huge recognition to Apple at a time when IBM PCs ruled the computing world. Today that spot is seen as one of the most famous Super Bowl ads ever - and indeed as one of the greatest television ads of all time.

Last year, GoDaddy's steamy Super Bowl ad turned off plenty of watchers, but it also created a spike of awareness - and new business - for the domain-name registration company. Meanwhile, Salesgenie's 2007 Super Bowl ad, which implied that using the company's sales prospecting lists would put you in a hot car with a hot blonde on your arm, was voted one of the worst Super Bowl ads ever . . . yet that didn't deter Salesgenie.com from ponying up for commercial spots again this year.

Why such devotion by advertisers to Super Bowl advertisements? It's not only that the Super Bowl delivers hundreds of millions of viewers, but that these viewers are actually watching the ads as part of the show. This is especially true since the Super Bowl audience includes many millions of viewers who don't normally watch football, and who may or may not care much about the Patriots and the Giants. But even these casual sports fans pay special attention when the commercials come on.

For football fans, the Super Bowl is about football. But for the culture at large, it's about spectacle - and the commercials are a key part of the fun.