This Year’s Super Bowl MVP: The Commercials?

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Forget the regular refrain of, “Are you ready for some football?” When it comes to the showpiece game of the year, isn’t it all about the advertisements?

Has there even been a year where there’s been so much buzz in the build up to those short and sweet spots that break up the Super Bowl? Some of the adverts have already been leaked (this publication, among others, happily picked out a handful of favorites) as advertisers understandably want to get as much bang for their considerable buck.

If you want to break down the math, it’s worth knowing that 30 seconds of air time is selling for $3 million, which is up slightly from last year. Usually, a 30-second prime-time commercial costs between $100,000 and $500,000.

(More on TIME.com: The Super Bowl ads of 2010.)

This year, the big boys are, of course, out in force (Mercedes, Budweiser, Pepsi) but NewsFeed would like to bring to your attention the odd couples. How about some Roseanne Barr and Richard Lewis doing their version of “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” for Snickers? Or Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne, who star in Best Buy’s first ever Super Bowl foray, the concept for which is still somehow under wraps.

And then there’s the gimmicks. E-Trade and its talking babies, Careerbuilder.com with those office chimps and Twentieth Century Fox even offering a code to unlock a secret level for “Angry Birds” (the company is promoting animated flick Rio). Meanwhile, Pepsi’s six ads for Doritos and Pepsi Max were not only conceived by consumers and selected by the public online but 10 finalists got $25,000 and a trip to the game (nice work if you can get it).

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 Super Bowl moments.)

It’s nearly enough to make you forget that there’s an actual game taking place. And isn’t it awfully decent of the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers to take snaps in between the real action taking place on Sunday? (via AP)

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