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Commercials Will Upstage Super Bowl For Some San Diegans

Commercials Will Upstage Super Bowl For Some San Diegans

Super Bowl 50 promises a gridiron clash that will thrill spectators, but many viewers watch for what’s in between the plays. For them the commercials are the big stars.

Snickers has hired actor Willem DaFoe to play Marilyn Monroe to sell the candy bar during the game. Wearing the iconic white dress and standing on a subway vent grate the DaFoe-Monroe is grumpy and hungry and only a Snickers will do.

A 30-second spot cost around $5 million. The Super Bowl is advertising's biggest stage, and each year brands battle to stand out among the 40-plus commercials that air during the game. The goal is to rivet the 114 million people expected to tune into the game, in which the Denver Broncos will take on the Carolina Panthers. Marketers also hope to dominate online chatter during the game and real-life talk in the office on Monday.

San Diego State Marketing Professor George Belch said the stakes are high for both the players and the advertisers.

“It is a Super Bowl for ad agencies and big marketers as well," Belch said. "Just as the game is very competitive they are really dying to see what kind of results their ad is going to get and how well their ads play.”

Marketers use any means they can to sell products. Icelandic Water re-did the famous “Diet Coke Break” ad from 1994 where women watch a hunky construction worker. This time they’re drooling over a surfer.

Belch said people know the ads are sometimes clever and well produced.

"On Super Bowl Sunday, the phenomena of people being attentive to the commercial just continues," Belch said. "Everything will stop, people will look at them. Everyone becomes an advertising expert for a few minutes and then the water cooler effect kicks in or the social media effect."