The 2013 Super Bowl is as much a marketing opportunity for major companies as it is a football game. Here's what to expect from this year's crops of ads, with examples from Samsung, Mercedes-Benz, Go Daddy and Taco Bell.
The Baltimore Ravens are playing the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII in two days, and yeah it's a big game, but let's not forget how it got so big. Like it or not, consumerism drives the early-February spectacle every year, and companies will once again be running extravagant and occasionally poorly-conceived commercials in between stoppages of play.
The commercials are occasionally hilarious, occasionally mind-bendingly stupid, occasionally controversial, and occasionally downright bizarre. Few will actual convince you, personally, to run out the store and buy whatever is being sold. The ads must work on somone, however, considering that advertising slots during the Super Bowl are now going for $4 million.
And with that, below are a few examples of what to expect during Sunday's game:
Celebrity cameos! Everywhere! Samsung rolled out Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Bob Odenkirk to make some jokes about advertising regulation, and make little mention of the company itself and what it's selling.
Controversy! Sex! Mercedes-Benz wins this years prize for the lazy semi-outrage it created with its new ad showing Kate Upton and a bunch of guys washing a car (she doesn't do any washing, contrary to the ad's title).
Good or bad, Go Daddy tends to cause a stir during the Super Bowl. This year they skip scantily clad women and prompts to go see an un-censored version online for something a little more relevant to their product. Less people will be talking the ad after the game, but at least Go Daddy actually explains who they are this time.
And here's an early front-runner for the "Cowboy Herding Cats" Award for the ad that you'll love but have no clue what it is selling. Unfortunately, the "dong" sound at the end is probably so ingrained in your mind at this point that you will get it anyway.