By Mae Anderson
NEW YORK -- Music is taking center stage at the Super Bowl -- and not just during the halftime show.
Bank of America (BAC) will have rock band U2 sing a new song during a commercial break. Pop band OneRepublic jams in a Bud Light ad for Anheuser Busch Inbev (BUD). And the legendary Bob Dylan's 1966 hit "I Want You" will appear in a Chobani yogurt spot.
The focus on music comes as many advertisers look for ways to engage the 108 million viewers who are expected to tune in during the Super Bowl. With each 30-second spot costing an estimated $4 million, many companies are turning away from controversial or "gross" spots that might offend. By focusing on music, experts say advertisers will be able to reach a wide swath of people.
"Advertisers are following the lead of what really spreads culturally," said David Berkowitz, chief marketing officer of Publicis' digital ad agency MRY. "The conversation around the Grammys and the VMAs keeps getting bigger. If you look at the most followed celebrities on places like Twitter (TWTR) it's people like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga."
- U2: The biggest music stunt of the night includes U2 singing a new single, "Invisible," during the break between the first and second quarters for Bank of America. The bank is promoting its partnership with AIDS nonprofit (RED). The song will be a free download on iTunes during the game and for the following 24 hours and Bank of America will donate $1 each time it is downloaded to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.