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MainStreet) -- The Super Bowl is the biggest advertising event of the year, so even though the Boston/New York sports rivalry will be renewed, most viewers will instead be riveted by the latest commercials from
Coca-Cola(KO - Get Report) and
This year, 30-second spots during Super Bowl XLVI are commanding prices upward of $3.5 million, the highest total ever. Advertisers are shelling out the big bucks in hope of luring viewers in a contest of commerce that will rival the game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.
Over the previous 10 years, the Super Bowl has generated $1.7 billion of network advertising sales from more than 125 marketers, according to advertising data firm
Kantar Media. The top five Super Bowl advertisers are, in order, Anheuser-Busch InBev,
PepsiCo(PEP - Get Report),
General Motors(GM - Get Report),
Walt Disney(DIS) and Coca-Cola, accounting for $636 million of that total.
Advertisers are more than willing to feed the viewer hunger for funny, irreverent commercials. In the decade of Super Bowls that preceded this Sunday's matchup, the number of commercials has spiked 29% from 74 ads taking up little more than 36 minutes in 2002 to 96 ads running 46 minutes last year, according to Kantar.
Kantar says the average price of a 30-second spot this year, at an estimated $3.5 million, is up 59% from 2002, when a commercial slot during the big game carried a price tag of $2.2 million. Typically, first-time advertisers account for 20% of the Super Bowl ad lineup, although only three such companies have announced participation in the Super Bowl this year.
For Super Bowl XLVI, several key advertisers such as Coke and Budweiser return once again. Some companies, including
E*Trade Financial(ETFC) have already promised to tread over familiar ground, while newcomers such as
Century 21 and
Dannon hope to entice viewers with new national ad campaigns.
Here are some previews of commercials set to run this Super Bowl Sunday. We'll update the list periodically as more marketers unveil their big spots for the big game: