Hype for Super Bowl ads building as countdown to kick-off continues

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- With less than a week to go until the Super Bowl, buzz about the ads is building.

Watching the Super Bowl ads is almost a sport in its own right.

"I think what you can expect is some incredible entertainment," Michael Learmonth of Advertising Age told 3TV's Javier Soto Monday morning. "I mean this is the most expensive 30 seconds on television -- $4 million for 30 seconds."

That $4 million is just for air time during the Super Bowl. Once you factor in the costs of creating and producing the ad, the price tag is more like $6 to $10 million.

Is it worth it? Companies certainly hope so. In a field where it can be difficult at best to stand out, they're banking on the buzz.

Advertisers take their Super Bowl spots very seriously, according to Learmonth. While that has always been the case, social media has upped the ante in a big way.

Nearly two dozen of the 50-60 ads are already online.

"I'm guessing the majority will be online by Friday," Learmonth said. "Over the past few years, it's become about, 'Can I win the Super Bowl before the Super Bowl even begins?' ... They're going to try to get your attention beforehand, and then hopefully get you tweeting about it, sharing it for the next six months to come."

But what is it that makes a good Super Bowl ad?

"I think is all comes back to the writing and the strength of the idea," Learmonth said, describing many recent memorable ads as "mini-movies."

Do you have a favorite Super Bowl ad?