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Super Bowl Commercials XLII

The ads during this year's game had a different feel from last year, but the expectationsand costwere plenty high

The New York Giants and New England Patriots have been fielding media questions and tuning up their bodies for two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLII. The same can be said of competitive creative directors and video editors who have prepared for their biggest game of the year: The Super Bowl ads that cost their clients $2.7 million for every 30 seconds.

As recently as Tuesday and Wednesday before the big game, ad agencies were tweaking the sound quality and pacing of their ads. "It would be bad to put all this effort in and then not get the story or message across," says Joel Ewanick, Hyundai Motor America's marketing chief. He says the automaker's agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, views their ads on small, inexpensive TVs to verify production quality rather than relying on the expensive gear at ad agencies. Hyundai advertised the coming of their Genesis luxury car later this year. Last year, Deutsch LA created a clever, poignant spot about a robot on a General Motors (GM) assembly line, but after the game it received pressure from special interest groups to re-cut the ad over a sequence that showed the robot jumping off a bridge (, 2/5/07). "It's such a big audience…it can be like what happens in a political debate when something someone says or does has an unintended consequence," says independent marketing consultant Dennis Keene.