2012 will be known as the year of the Giants vs. the Patriots. But in the ever-popular Super Bowl ads, 2012 will also be known as the year of ads leaked ahead of the game.
Super Bowl ads, which used to be secretive before the game, are now available over the Internet, a trend meant to generate even more buzz for ads that can cost up to $4 million per 30 seconds.
Many advertisers are getting in on the action, not only throwing up ads on YouTube ahead of the game, but hoping that those ads go viral and grow with Twitter and Facebook social media.
That's the new conventional wisdom, Matt Paget, managing partner of Extension PR sports branding firm, told ESPN.com.
There are two types of tent-pole Super Bowl commercials today -- the traditional [ones] that grab the audience's attention so viewers remember the brand and connect it with the stature of Super Bowl, and the new category that taps into consumers interfacing with the brand -- be it through social media tags and a call to action or through featuring content that was crowd-sourced in advance, he said.
Below are some of the commercials that you can see ahead of Sunday's game:
Volkswagen Game Day Commercial
Volkswagen's commercial for the newly designed Beetle combines an eager golden retriever with an encounter at the fictional Chalmun's Cantina from Star Wars. Confused? Some fans were, but you can see if the two-part commercial makes sense.
The Internet hosting site is at it again in this provocative ad where scantily clad sexpots push the very unsexy cloud computing. The Pussy Cat dolls are featured in the ad spot where two guys enter a heavenly computer cloud where silver-clad babes live.
In this 30-second spot, a 2013 Lexus GS becomes a beast in a steel box that bursts out. Change cannot be contained, the narrator says.
Pepsi thumbs its nose at its top competitor when a fictional Coke deliveryman is caught in a store buying a Pepsi MAX, a drink similar in concept to Coke Zero.
Not only does the cashier make a big deal of it, the hapless guy wins a prize of Pepsi MAX for life, awarded by recently-retired Regis Philbin.
I'm back and you're my first guest, Philbin says. You're going to be famous, kid.
The Super Bowl is a time when many companies roll out new products and in 2012 Kraft follows the trend with belVita, a breakfast cookie.
In the commercial, two deputies in fictitious Griffin County, Neb. chase a bunny suspect and measure little league throws with their radar guns - all fueled up on the breakfast biscuit.
Tongue-in-cheek, Matthew Brodreick helps Honda plug its CR-V by re-enacting Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the 1986 comedy that helped launch the actor's career. In the spot Matthew's Day Off, the actor sneaks around in the SUV (in the movie, the vehicle was a reproduction of the rare 1961 Ferrari GT California). The message of the commercial: the CR-V gives its drivers freedom all with a soundtrack of Yello's Oh Yeah.
Finally, SuperBowl Ads hosts a site that has videos of all Super Bowl ads from 1998 to 2011.