Super Bowl Ads: Battle to be the best

The Super Bowl isn’t just about the Patriots and Falcons, it’s also the biggest battle of the year for TV advertisers.

The Super Bowl is expected to draw more than 100 million US viewers, with a 30-second spot on the Fox network going for an estimated $US5 million.

With money like that being spent on slots, expect some seriously impressive ads.

The top choice is website provider Squarespace’s effort in which John Malkovich fights for the rights to the domain in a hilarious.

Another favourite for Korean carmaker KIA features Ghostbusters reboot star Melissa McCarthy as a hapless eco-warrior trying to save the world.

At the provocative end of the spectrum, Procter & Gamble turns Mr. Clean into a household sex symbol in the spot dubbed “Cleaner of Your Dreams.” “Mr. Clean is showing off his strong and sexy side, and hopefully even inspiring men across America to pick up a mop and bucket themselves,” said P&G vice president Martin Hettich.

“Wonder Woman” actress Gal Gadot joins her “Furious 7” partner Jason Stratham in an action-packed spot for website builder created by French director Louis Leterrier, known for his “Transporter” and “Incredible Hulk” films.

TurboTax’s Super Bowl ad features knights rescuing Humpty Dumpty, who falls off a wall while “doing his taxes.” It’s been watched more than 3 million times online.

Tom Brady, who will play in the game for the patriots, also features in one of the best ads, a spot for Intel.

“A lot of people aren’t interested in the game, and many of them focus on the ads more than the game itself,” said Tim Calkins, professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“This is a rare opportunity to reach a huge amount of the US population at one time.

There’s nothing anywhere that comes close to this for marketers.”

Brands are pulling out all the stops to stand out.

Hyundai, the South Korean automaker, hired film director Peter Berg, known for “Patriots Day” and “Deepwater Horizon,” to create a 90-second “documentary” filmed and produced entirely during the game.

“We wanted to push the creativity and storytelling even further,” said Hyundai marketing chief Dean Evans.

Some advertisers also appear to be making an end run around the ban on overtly political ads.

One of them is Budweiser, whose ad tells a 60-second story about its founder, Adolphus Busch, and his journey as a German immigrant — a theme set to make waves as debate rages over US immigration policy.

Ads seen as too political or provocative can be rejected, and home improvement retailer 84 Lumber was forced to revise its original concept, which had depicted a border wall.

The ad, which aims to recruit new employees, originally included a wall blocking people looking for work — an image deemed too sensitive in light of President Donald Trump’s plan for a wall on the border with Mexico.

Audi’s “Daughter” ad also offers political overtones with a story of a girl competing in a cart race and a message of equal pay for women.