More than half of the estimated 100 million people who turn on the Super Bowl do it only for the advertising spots.
That's generally good news for the companies willing to spend millions to produce and have their commercial air during the big game.
That product promotion cost this year was $4 million for a 30-second spot.
"The consensus was that the ads were better than the game," said Michael Pavone, president and CEO of Pavone Marketing Group Inc., a Harrisburg-based public relations and marketing firm that launched a real-time Super Bowl commercial voting poll called SpotBowl in 2004.
But the return on investment might not be as great in the case of a rout, which Sunday's game was, and a spot appearing late in the television coverage.
"You take a chance," Pavone said.
Even so, large corporations continue placing those bets. And regional companies — including Donegal Group Inc. — are willing to pay a premium to promote themselves in their local market during the Super Bowl.
"It's the one day a year where people are really focused on advertising," Pavone said. "It is a calculated risk. It is putting a stake in the ground. They are saying, 'We might be a local company, but we're serious about this and we believe in our brand.'"
On the national level, Pavone cited continued growth in releases of Super Bowl spots before the big game.
More than half of the national spots — 22 of 43 — aired ahead of time, he said, which makes sense, given the investment made in each one.
Social media is a primary vehicle for that.
So which was your favorite Super Bowl ad? Voting for SpotBowl XI ends at 3 p.m. today.