For an event that usually does not attract hordes of attention, President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20 is proving to be an ad magnet.

The historical event is even being compared to American football's biggest event, the Super Bowl.

Other than the Super Bowl, this will be one of the few events in 2009 that will generate audiences in the tens of millions, said Frank Cooper III, vice-president of portfolio brands for PepsiCo's drinks arm.

Pepsi is using the inauguration to unleash its Pepsi optimism project campaign.

The symbolism of having perhaps the most public presidential inauguration in history is significant because it challenges the notion that only Washington, D.C., insiders and political leaders should celebrate our new president, said Rich Masters, a partner at Qorvis.

With the world watching perhaps 2 to 3 million people standing shoulder to shoulder on the National Mall, it should send a strong signal abroad that our nation is united, strong and optimistic about our future, he added.

Following the popular ratings last years election debates got, news networks will now show up to 21 hours of continuous live coverage in a bid to keep viewers locked in.