The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Entertainment

February 2, 2013

Few surprises in Super Bowl ads

NEW YORK — So much for surprises.

The majority of the 30-plus Super Bowl advertisers have been releasing their spots in the days leading up to the game. So it’s unlikely there’ll be lots of action off the football field to make viewers drop their jaws on Sunday.

Advertising fans already can catch a glimpse of “Spider-Man” actor Willem Dafoe in a Mercedes-Benz ad. They can watch a baby Clydesdale grow up in an Anheuser-Busch commercial. They even can spot old people partying in a Taco Bell ad.

Gone are the days when Super Bowl spots were closely-guarded secrets. With the growth of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it’s no surprise that more advertisers are releasing ads online up to a week or more before Game Day.

In recent years, more advertisers have been making their spots public before the Big Game. This year, 26 of the 35 or so advertisers have released their spots, with more reveals expected, according to YouTube.com.

Companies have good reason for doing this. Last year, Super Bowl ads released early were watched 600 percent more times — with 9.1 million average views — than ones released after the game, according to YouTube.com, which hosts advertisers’ commercials on its site.

“The conversation has gone from Monday morning around the water cooler to social media, so basically what that means is there’s no downside in showing your cards early and getting people to talk about it and starting up some buzz,” said Charlie Warzel, staff writer at Adweek Magazine.

Still, Warzel said not everyone likes seeing ads early. “There are a lot of people who want to be surprised and can’t help but see these things floating around the Internet or picked up by news agencies. So the element of surprise is taken away.”

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