The Super Bowl is so close I can almost taste it: the food, the drinks, the commercials -- it's my favorite American tradition.
In all honesty, I couldn't give a crap about the game unless the Kansas City Chiefs are playing.
Don't get me wrong; I still watch the game, but I don't yell at the TV. In fact, I've never yelled at the TV during the Super Bowl because the last time the Chiefs saw the inside of a Super Bowl stadium was 43 years ago!
I tend to tune for two reasons: a good game and good commercials.
This year, Super Bowl commercials are a bargain compared to previous years. According to TNS Media Intelligence, the Super Bowl spots are less expensive for the second time ever.
Advertisers will be able to run an in-game spot for a mere $2.5 million, while the average cost last year was $3 million. This is a 16.7 percent price drop, the largest percentage decrease in Super Bowl history.
As previously noted, Pepsi, Fed Ex, and General Motors have announced they'll be sitting on the sidelines during the Feb. 7 contest. This is Pepsi's first absence from the game after 23 consecutive appearances. General Motors broke an 11-year streak last year due to its pending "financial concerns." This marks the second consecutive year Fed Ex has decided not to run ads.
While Pepsi won't be advertising any of their beverages, PepsiCo-owned Doritos purchased 3 spots as part of their "Crash the Super Bowl" contest. According to CBS, four slots of the original 62 remain open, and the networks aren't worried about filling them.
CBS executive vice president of sports and sales marketing John Bogusz stated, "We believe our pricing is similar and believe we are in a better sellout position than they were at this time going into the game."
NBC had the rights in 2009, and the game -- not pregame or postgame -- netted $213 million in ad revenues. The previous year brought in $186.3 million.
The only other Super Bowl that saw lower spot costs is the 2007 Super Bowl, which saw a four percent drop, making the 2010 Super Bowl price drop a record.
It's probably not one to cheer about, though.