The Super Bowl has become a tester platform for all the big-budget adverts set to hit the US. Dominated by technology and consumer electronics advertising, it draws audience numbers quite unlike any other television show in the US, bar the Moon landings.
This means new products and ideas get massive budgets thrown at them to come up with new adverts for the Super Bowl. Being inventive is key, as standing out in a seven-minute ad break - where each second is costing thousands of dollars - is extremely important. Social media in particular is going to be the buzz word of Super Bowl 2012. Nearly every advert will have a Facebook or Twitter counterpart as well as an app. The Yanks reckon that up to 35 per cent of people watching the game could be doing it with an iPad or smartphone next to them, so building on that with social interactivity is going to be important.
So what does Super Bowl XLVI have in store? Do any new products make an appearance? Or has CES cleared the big players out?
Update: We have now added the full versions of the adverts for your enjoyment post Super Bowl. Oh and congrats Giants fans, not sure exactly how you win at American handball, but you appear to have done it.
Acura NSX with Jerry Seinfeld
We previewed the NSX concept last month when we got a chance to see it at the Detroit motor show. But now, there's a Super Bowl ad available to see too. Like those much-hated Microsoft adverts from a few years ago, Seinfeld is starring, and we think it's pretty amusing.
All of this is quite a lot of expense and effort to go to for a car that's as much as three years away from going on sale. Still, it's charming enough, and it does feature the Soup Nazi.
Volkswagen Star Wars dogs
Volkswagen has a tradition of putting something big out at every Super Bowl. Back in 2011, it was a young Darth Vader messing with a new Passat. This year the Star Wars theme continues with something even better.
What can only be described as a doggie choir is used to re-enact the iconic Star Wars theme, complete with an AT-AT clad Whippet at the end, a particular favourite part as we have one ourselves. This is just a taster to the real advert to come, so who knows what to expect. A battle between Rebel Alliance cats and Empire dogs? We can only dream.
Volkswagen has now released the full version of the ad. Its not really as good as the preview, despite featuring the delights of aqualish and the rest of the Mos Eisley cantina crew. Watch the whole video, the dog element is just a prelude to the good stuff.
Go Daddy.co girl
Go Daddy likes to keep things fairly low rent at the Super Bowl, hoping that it will keep eyes fixed to the screen during ad breaks rather than running off to grab snacks. Take three models and have two of them body paint Go Daddy logos on the best looking one who is naked. Simple enough really.
Oh and if you want to see an uncensored version of it then it will be live on the Go Daddy website. We haven't looked at it yet. Honest. No, we really haven't but that is because it isn't live yet. Oh, and just in case you want to do a bit of Googling, the models involved are Natalia Velez, Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels.
Go Daddy also made as equally a low-rent ad for its conventional cloud and .com domains. We aren't really going to complain though, this one has the Pussycat Dolls thrown in for good measure.
Chevrolet game time app
Prizes, prizes, prizes! Everyone loves a good give away, especially if it involves cars, houses or, say, billions of pounds-worth of uncut diamonds. Chevrolet has sadly opted for just cars this year, along with some other treats that all seem to involve either American football or pizza; a decent enough combination.
Should you want to prep for the Chevy giveaway, then you can pick up the app here. There are 20 different Chevrolet cars up for grabs during the ad breaks alone. So, who knows, you could get lucky. Then again you might end up winning some tyres which is great if you have a car but not so hot if you don't.
You've Been Samsunged!
Samsung's never-ending pursuit of Apple continues. This time it's a crack at fans who queue outside Apple shops on launch day. A Galaxy S II owner walks by and drops off a charger for the cold queuing crowd, explaining how he got there using free navigation apps with Android.
Shame that the people queuing seem to ignore him and go and buy a new Apple device anyway, or at least that is what we presume. Samsung wishes they had device launch days like Apple has and this advert comes across slightly as if it has been designed by a jealous child. Who knows though, perhaps the Galaxy S III will do it.
Samsung has also thrown this preview to its Super Bowl extravaganza online. The next big thing is coming. Wonder what it could possibly be?
It's not the Galaxy S III before you get too excited.
Oh wait, it was The Darkness. Forgot how much we loved this song. They really go for it in this advert. We are sure if any of this started going on in the background Apple fans would begin leaving the queues.
Coke Polar Bears
Coca-Cola is to bring back its Polar Bear advertising this year with the Super Bowl. The company will use a highly innovative social media campaign which will involve the bears commenting live on the game, via a Facebook stream.
Hundreds of pre-rendered animations have been put together to create the impression that the CGI animals are actually watching things. A selection of teaser videos currently sits on cokepolarbowl.com, including the above, to give you an idea of how it will work.
Lexus GS teaser
What could possibly be more manly than a game where men run around in spandex, touch each other's helmets and fight it out over balls? Big fast-car adverts between the game of course! Lexus is to show off its new GS at the Super Bowl which will no doubt be a highlight among petrol heads.
Known for its in-car gadgetry, the new GS will no doubt have some treats hidden inside. If it is anything like the LFA, which has without doubt the best dashboard we have ever seen on a car, we are excited.
The car manages to escape unharmed. Solid stuff these Lexi (plural for Lexus), getting the whole way through a thick steel wall without any damage to the front. Worryingly the airbags didn't deploy. Perhaps a safety rethink Lexus?
Bridgestone rubber balls
More cars? Yup. Well not cars exactly, more tyres, which are even more exciting. Ooh big rubber round things which you can roll down the street with a stick. Bridgestone is one of the best manufacturers of equipment for this classic Victorian past-time and have as such indulged in a rather elaborate advert for the Super Bowl.
In a taster currently live on YouTube the company is apparently putting its expertise into balls and pucks. It's obviously a spoof, but still fun none the less.
We get to see the rubber balls in action in both American Football and basketball. Personally, we prefer the former as the idea of quiet basketball is a bit rubbish.
Audi vampire party
Recently we've noticed particularly flamboyant lighting setups on Audis. The company's saloons in particular are guilty of cyclist blinding blinkers sat on the front. Audi is aware of this and has turned it to its advantage in its Super Bowl advertising.
A vampire manages to crash his own party by melting his friends with his car's lovely headlamps. He doesn't seem to get fried by them though when he gets out; a minor detail we know, but hey accuracy is paramount when it comes to vampires.
We would like to think if the world did end, the first car we went for wasn't a Chevrolet truck. Once the fire and brimstone was over, a Ferrari would most definitely be sat outside the front of our chateau. The Americans however, with their love of all things big, appear to have chosen a Chevy truck as a post- doomsday transport.
Ford users are apparently all dead. At least that is what Chevrolet says.
You can't beat a bit of gratuitous action. Chevrolet went all out this year at the Super Bowl with its Sonic adverts. The poor little car gets thrown about in all different ways, pulling off bungee jumps, a music video and even a kickflip.
There is plenty more Chevrolet adverts that aren't quite as enjoyable as the two above, if you want to check them out, head over to Chevy's YouTube channel.
Honda has done a good job here, making what is a relatively unexciting car into a fun piece of kit. Matthew's day off, as the advert is entitled, sees Ferris Bueller star Matthew Broderick going about his business after pulling a sicky from work.
Fiat 500 Abarth
This car has been a bit of a sleeper hit for Fiat. The souped-up version of Fiat's hatchback has proven hugely popular. This advert features a rather enjoyable Italian lady who eventually transforms herself into the car.
Spotted any other Super Bowl delights set for release? Let us know in the comments below ...