I happen to know that the Packers and the Steelers are facing off in the Super Bowl on Sunday, but only because I asked someone who cares; football is not my concern. The movie trailers and mini-movies meant to sell us things, though, they promise to be more entertaining.
Elaborate and sometimes comic Super Bowl commercials long ago became a show on their own, and luckily there are ways to watch them without any pesky football getting in the way. Everything is sure to be on-line minutes after the game, but some have already been leaked out, in full form or teasers. Yes, teasers for the full-length 30-second commercials.
The trailers on the way are geared toward action and superhero movies, hitting the mostly male Super Bowl fans, just the way the commercials are pushing plenty of cars. But some of those potential summer blockbusters look tempting for all of us. There should be a fuller look at J.J. Abrams’ secretive sci-fi Super 8 (so far only a teaser has been released) and a new trailer for Jon Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens. (And you wonder why I think the Super Bowl is crawling with aliens?)
Other trailers include Captain America, Thor, Transformers 3, Pirates of the Caribbean, and, oddly enough, Robert DeNiro and Bradley Cooper in Limitless (sci-fi but smaller). In the gimmick department, the ad for the animated family film Rio includes an embedded code that will take you to a special level of Angry Birds.
VW has released a commercial that goes for adorable with a mini-Darth Vader. Actually, it is pretty adorable.
And in the synergy department, here’s a Chevy commercial that morphs into an ad for Transformers:
Among non-movie commercials, Best Buy’s has the strangest cast: Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne. They must be counting on its curiosity value, because they're not teasing it with video.
Entertaining or flat, these spots are definitely expensive: $3 million dollars for a 30-second spot on Fox. Don’t even think about how many indie films could be made for that money.