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Super Bowl commercials: Big stars, big surprises

Screen grab from one of E-Trade's Super Bowl

Screen grab from one of E-Trade's Super Bowl commericals Credit: YouTube

Super  Bowl Sunday is almost upon us. Whether you’re rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Green Bay Packers, or are still bitter about the Jets not making it, we all know the real sport is who can make the funniest Super Bowl commercial.

Advertisers seem to be pulling out all the stops with their marketing campaigns this year. A 30-second spot for the  Super Bowl XLV will run  nearly $3 million. With more than 100 million fans expected to tune in, competition for those spots is almost as fierce as the game itself.

We have a sneak peek with some of the funniest to make the cut. So, what does it take to win the Super Bowl of advertising? Apparently babies, horses and scantily clad women.

All those famous ads from the past have reinvented themselves and come back to entertain again this year. This first eyebrow raiser has struck again this year with everyone’s favorite ‘Loser.’

Jillian Michaels is the newest bikini-wearing spokeswoman to join the ranks with Danika Patrick trying to sell webpages on

Audi continues to use high class with humor to sell its 2011 models. For the fourth year in a row, Audi has a 60-second spot during the Big Game 2011. It airs a teaser commercial to set the stage for the longer commercial on the website. That commercial is set to air in the first break after kickoff. This video, which debuted during the playoffs, will play during the second half of the game.

 Volkswagen has a couple of different commercials to win over fans. The first is a different take on its newly designed Beetle.

 The second commercial, which is already getting buzz, is designed to tug at the heart strings.



Best buy is going the route of some kind of “Tron” inspired odd couple theme with tween sensation Justin Beiber and King of Rock, Ozzy Osbourne.






Skechers is also using big stars to sell its product. Kim Kardashian is showing off her best "asset" to sell the company’s Shape-up sneaker. 

  Old favorites are back again, such as the E*Trade babies. Lindsey Lohan doesn’t seem to be the inspiration for any of the newest editions, but the company is keeping  its commercials under wraps until Sunday. But they have released the uncensored snippets not allowed on television.

 Budweiser is another company that always keeps its most-talked-about commercials  confidential until the game. That’s not to say fans won’t get their annual fill of the famous Clydesdales.

CareerBuilder scored a touchdown with its 2005 chimp campaign and hasn’t looked back since. This year, the company is reviving the popular campaign which features a bunch of chimpanzees at Yeknom Industries creating mischief for the sole human employee at the firm.

 Sister brands Pepsi and Doritos are continuing a four-year streak of giving  fans the chance to sell the products This year’s “Crash the Super Bowl” ad campaign has 10 finalists whose commercials aired during previous games to give fans a chance to vote. The winner not only gets bragging rights until next year’s game, but also cashes a $1 million check., a fairly new company introduced itself  last year during the Super Bowl with cameos from Christmas-time favorite family, the Griswolds of "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." This year, it took a different route with an agency dubbed the Ministry of Detourism.

 Bridgestone Tires took a page out of Budweiser’s marketing book this year. Because the company also seems to be a staple among the commercials at Super Bowl, it created teaser trailers to start the hype early.

 Chevy will be pairing up with summer blockbuster, "Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon" to promote its 2011 line of vehicles. This is one of five commercials that GM's Chevrolet division will be debuting., gives this innovative look at life inside a dealer showroom for its Super Bowl commercial. 

 Finally, Hollywood wouldn’t let an opportunity pass without getting its products out there. Summer releases, like "Cowboys and Aliens" and  "Justin Beiber: Never Say Never" are the most talked about trailers out there. But they aren’t the only ones. This video has a summary of all the movies to watch for.

Want to see all the trailers in their entirety? Pop a bag of popcorn, and watch all of them by clicking here.

 Some companies can’t afford the big price tag for a 30-second spot. Therefore, they try to cut corners, like Papa John's. The pizza purveyor is trying to stick it to the broadcasters by announcing its own Super Bowl promotion.

This year, Papa Johns promises a free pizza. Since the company announced the give-away, more than a million Americans became eligible to score a free large three-topping pizza if the game goes into overtime Sunday.

The television isn’t the only place major brands will be battling for the coveted top position.  The mobile world is at war as well. The popular ADBOWL website , which promotes the game-day tradition of rating Super Bowl commercials, now introduces ADBOWL for the iPhone. This will be the first year that ADBOWL voters can rate the year's most anticipated commercials through the app. And best of all, it’s free.

Start stocking up on the chips, dips and beverages because this year’s commercials are shaping up to be full of laughs and full of topics for watercooler discussions. Oh, and the game should be good too.

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