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Super Bowl 2013 commercials: Is $4 million price tag worth it?

With the distractions of a smartphone, is a Super Bowl commercial worth $4 million?

USA TODAY Sports

It costs $4 million to run a Super Bowl ad -- and you'll see plenty Sunday. But is it actually worth it?

There's a lot of mediums competing for people's attention in today's world. Even during the Super Bowl when commercials are at a premium, they won't have the full attention of viewers, writes Forbes' Darren Heitner:

Despite the fact that 30-second television advertisements during the Super Bowl sell for approximately $4 million, the game will be streamed online and on smartphones, and many viewers will be staring at their Twitter feeds during breaks in the action, all of the ad space is said to be sold out. Digital continues to grow, as does the cost to advertise on the Super Bowl, yet demand for the coveted 30-second spot has remained. Is there a threat of that changing in the near future?

It will be necessary for advertising agencies to "build in those social ties to Super Bowl commercials," Heitner writes, because it's all about the "second screen experience" nowadays.

David Steinberg, the founder and CEO of XL Marketing, said in the story that if the ads are done right, "peoples' use of Twitter and Facebook during commercial breaks enhance the value of the ad." He also said you can reach the same audience online "for less than 25 percent of that amount."

Some of the 2013 Super Bowl commercials have already been released and reviewed. While some will be online early, most will debut Sunday starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.