Sunday is the big day. Millions of people will have their eyes glued to the TV, watching the action unfold and praying for a win.
There will also be a football game.
Super Bowl Sunday is the only day of the year consumers wait with bated breath to see advertisements about deodorant and soft drinks, watching them closely and willingly. It's that captive consumer audience that spurs companies big and small to fork over $4.5 million for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it, 30-second commercial. But it's a big gamble, and the return on investment is no sure thing.
That's why there is so much pressure to stand out from the crowd. Here's how a few companies are hoping to win you over this weekend.
Snickers carries over its popular "You're not you when you're hungry" theme to hilarious effect with tough guy Danny Trejo as Marcia Brady. Wait until you see who plays Jan:
Budweiser is bringing back what has been a winning mix of puppies and Clydesdales for a three-part, tear-jerking saga:
Mountain Dew targets a young audience for its Kickstart energy drink with loud music and sophomoric humor:
In the grand Super Bowl tradition of big budgets and high production value, Oscar-winning director Robert Stromberg puts his spin on the tortoise vs. the hare for Mercedes-Benz:
Most people have never heard of Mophie. That will change Sunday, once they've seen this high-budget, apocalyptic commercial for ... phone chargers?
BMW throws back to 1994, showing Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel on the Today Show trying to wrap their heads around the concept of the Internet. It leaps forward to show them equally mystified by BMW's futuristic i3:
As pressure builds to have the loudest, most obnoxious, over-the-top ad on Super Bowl Sunday, a few companies are trying to stand out by taking a quieter route. But can you even figure out what the company is selling?
Dove is pulling back, too, playing against macho male stereotypes to show what a real man is made of: