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Best Super Bowl ads: Some classics

February 3, 2012 |  2:57 pm
Superbowl adsWe all have our favorite Super Bowl commercials.

Is yours the 1973 classic -- and by that we mean provocative -- spot that had Farrah Fawcett lathering Noxzema shaving cream on Joe Namath? Or perhaps you can't forget the rough-riding cowboys herding cats? Maybe you favor the chorus of Budweiser Frogs?

Each year, advertisers spend months poring over story boards and scripts, hoping to create the perfect, ready-to-go-viral 30-second spot. These days, social media and online sites such as Hulu, which has dedicated an entire page to Super Bowl ads, are reaching for a piece of the revenue too.

VIDEO TIMELINE: Classic Super Bowl commercials

These sites can help boost the ads beyond the traditional onetime Super Bowl blowout. And with the cost of a 30-second spot at $3.5 mil­lion, they're going to lengths to avoid a dud.

This year, for the first time, advertisers got a jump on Super Bowl stardom.  Deutsch LA, the company that produced last year's Volkswagen hit "The Force," released a prequel to an ad scheduled to run during the New York Giants and New England Patriots face-off. The prequel to "Bark Side of the Moon" already has garnered more than 11 million views on YouTube.

"People think we are just there to purely entertain people," Michael Sheldon, Deutsch LA's chief executive, told The Times. "But an advertiser's mission is to get you to fall in love with their brand and buy their product."

It remains to be seen who will rise to the heights of classics such as Coca-Cola's 1979 "Mean Joe Green," or McDonald's 1993 "Showdown" for a Big Mac between Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

Contenders in the running? Honda's "Matthew's Day Off," which hopes to coax nostalgic viewers into Ferris Beuller's latest ride, and Audi's "Vampire-busting" headlights.

Then again, can we really expect a new ad to topple pigskin-playing Cly­des­dales or Betty White getting body slammed on a football field?


Super Bowl ads: The art of seduction

Super Bowl mania kicks off with a commercial for a commercial

Super Bowl has Los Angeles ad agencies bringing their "A" game

-- Lily Mihalik

Photos: Clockwise from top left, Noxzema "Creamed," Coca-Cola "Mean Joe Green," Budweiser "Frogs," Pepsi "New Look." Credits: Noxzema, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Pepsi