2011 Super Bowl Commercials: Sneak Preview

Updated from Feb. 3 with commercials for Volkswagen, Audi, Mars and General Motors.

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- With 30-second spots during the Super Bowl commanding prices upward of $3 million, advertisers hope to lure viewers who see the game as a contest of commerce as well as football teams.

The biggest advertising event every year will be hosted this time by Fox on Sunday.

Although this year's game -- Super Bowl XLV -- between two of the NFL's most storied franchises, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers, promises to be an instant classic, many Super Bowl viewers will be paying more attention to the commercials.

According to the Hanon-McKendry poll conducted online this month by Harris Interactive, 68% of U.S. adults plan to watch the 45th Super Bowl, which is a 3 percentage-point drop from last year. However, the survey found the number of respondents who say they are at least somewhat likely to discuss the ads on a social networking site rose from 48% last year to 54% in 2011.

Advertisers are more than willing to feed that hunger. In the decade of Super Bowls that preceded this Sunday's matchup, the number of commercials has spiked 27% from 82 ads taking up little more than 40 minutes in 2001 to 104 ads running nearly 48 minutes last year, according to Kantar Media, an advertising data firm.

So heavy is the ad traffic for Super Bowl XLV that a resurgent Ford ( F), whose sales shot up 19% this year as models like the Fusion, Fiesta and Focus drove buyers to the brand, managed to land only a pre-game ad.

The same goes for deal-of-the-day site Groupon, whose ad directed by Christopher Guest ( This is Spinal Tap, Best In Show), will air well before kickoff despite growing anticipation for its nearly $15 million IPO later this year.

For Super Bowl XLV, several key advertisers, such as Coca-Cola ( KO) and Anheuser-Busch InBev ( BUD) return once again. Some companies, like GoDaddy.com and E*Trade Financial ( ETFC) have already promised to tread over familiar ground, while newcomers like CarMax ( KMX) and Best Buy ( BBY) hope to entice viewers with new national ad campaigns.

Read on to see previews of what commercials are set to run this Super Bowl Sunday.

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