This Sunday, countless football fans will park themselves in front of the TV to watch Super Bowl XLVII, while others will simply pretend to watch, keeping their eyes peeled only for the best commercials.
If you fall into the latter category, this year's ads may not seem so fresh. For one, these commercials get so much hype before they're actually aired. Plus, in more than a few cases, you might have already previewed them on the internet.
While some companies are merely touting their upcoming ads (Best Buy wants us to know they're featuring Amy Poehler in their first-quarter spot), some are making theirs available online. For instance, the first half of Coca-Cola's Super Bowl commercial can be seen at CokeChase.com, where they're encouraging viewers to vote on the outcome of the ad. Mercedes-Benz is hyping a 90-second ad featuring Kate Upton with — for all intents and purposes — a 90-second ad featuring Kate Upton. And the offering from Toyota, featuring Kaley Cuoco of "The Big Bang Theory" as a wish-granting genie, can be watched in full online.
Considering that the cost of airing a 30-second Super Bowl spot averages around $3.8 million (and who knows how much more to produce), it seems to make sense to get these ambitious commercials online as soon as possible, where they can be viewed, reviewed, shared, favorite-ed, and hopefully go viral.
We're not entirely sure how "pre-released" ads affect Super Bowl viewership (this isn't the first year for this trend), but they might be spoiling the surprise. What do you think?