Highly-anticipated Super Bowl ads feature consumer-created spots

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The Super Bowl XLIV, the 44th championship game of the National Football League is scheduled at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on February 7, 2010 while viewers watching the live event at home will be treated to a selection of envelope-pushing ads, some created by consumers themselves.

Though the huge viewership of 97.5 million watching in the US, and another two million worldwide, with up to 143 million tuning in especially in the last half of the game, a big draw and one of the highly-anticipated features on the telecast, besides the half-time performance (this year, The Who will play) are the 62 special commercials scheduled during the game.

The phenomenon began in 1984 with the one-time-only Apple Macintosh commercial directed by Ridley Scott ( Bladerunner), which received more attention than the game. As a result, the USA Today newspaper started a Super Bowl Ad Meter survey. The live poll during the telecast monitors responses to the advertisements based on zero-to-ten rating.

YouTube also runs a fan favorites contest posting the best ads after the game.

Every year advertisers make special amusing, clever, innovative, and outrageous spots, sometimes created specifically for the game telecast. Each 30-second ad costs between $2 and 3 million.

Perennial Super Bowl advertisers include Anheuser-Busch (Corona) and Coca-Cola, For the first time in 23 years, Pepsi-Cola will pass on running a spot. Only one Detroit automaker will air an ad and four foreign automakers have purchased airtime.

Other returning advertisers for Super Bowl 2010 include CareerBuilder, hosting a do-it-yourself contest, "Hire My TV Ad," to give lucky creative people a chance to win a $100,000 prize.

Another consumer-created campaign is from Frito-Lay's Doritos chips, which will air three spots and is offering winners up to $5 million in prizes. Last year, the fan ad topped the USA Today survey to win an additional $1 million. The six finalists are: "Casket," "House Rules," "Kids These Days," "The Smackout," "Snack Attack Samurai," and "Underdog." This year submissions doubled and among the 4,000 applicants there are six finalists, including one by a pastor. They can be viewed and voted for online (www.crashthesuperbowl.com/).

Others buying time on the Super Bowl include Motorola and internet domain registrar GoDaddy, known for its risqué ads.

New advertisers include soft drink maker Dr. Pepper celebrating its 125th anniversary with rocker Gene Simmons as Dr. Love, and the entire KISS band. HomeAway, an online vacation home rental service, will spoof the comedy film National Lampoon's Vacation in its first Super Bowl ad.