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Q&A: The world of Super Bowl ads

The world of Super Bowl ads

I have a question about Super Bowl ads. As we all know, they sell for enormous amounts of money. But how do they set the number of ads to be sold? Also, what if the game goes into overtime or runs longer than expected, and they have already shown all of the ads that were sold?

The National Football League and the TV network showing the Super Bowl decide how much advertising time the game will have.

The Super Bowl has never gone into overtime. But if it does, the advertising gets complicated. The networks don't just repeat ads from earlier, but they do have ads ready to go. That's because advertisers lock in spots for overtime, but they don't pay unless the ads air, said Kyle Acquistapace, media director of ad agency Deutsch. The air time — sold in 30-second chunks — costs about the same as ads during regular play.

Some of the ads might have been scheduled for the postgame coverage, and some are altogether new ads. Essentially, everything is subject to negotiation between the advertisers and the TV network. For example, a deal might specifically include the opportunity to get into the game if it goes into overtime, for which an advertiser might pay extra. Sometimes an advertiser will get an overtime ad slot in exchange for buying commercial time on other broadcasts, Acquistapace said.

Advertising slots for the 2011 Super Bowl on Feb. 6 in Arlington, Texas, are close to being sold out, Fox says, with the going rate of about $3 million for a 30-second commercial.

'Good luck' New Year's foods

What is the meaning of the different foods eaten on New Year's Day?

The foods represent good luck and prosperity. Different countries have different traditional foods to eat on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Some examples:

• In the South, many people eat black-eyed peas and collard greens. The peas symbolize coins and the green paper money. If rice is added, the extra water symbolizes an increase in riches.

• Some areas of the United States and Europe serve cooked greens such as cabbage and sauerkraut for luck and fortune.

• Others supplement the greens with pork, which supposedly symbolizes moving into the future because of how a pig roots forward.

• Eating fish is another way to ensure good luck in North America, Asia and Europe. Fish move forward and also can symbolize abundance because they swim in large schools.

• Long noodles are eaten in many Asian countries in hopes of bringing a long life.

• In Italy, lentils are eaten because they are said to resemble coins.

• Some Mediterranean countries eat pomegranates, long associated with abundance and fertility.

• In parts of Spain, Portugal and other former Spanish colonies such as Brazil, Mexico and Cuba, grapes are the food of the day.

Q&A: The world of Super Bowl ads 12/26/10 [Last modified: Sunday, December 26, 2010 3:30am]
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