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Do 'early' Super Bowl commercials ruin the fun?

Sarah D. Bunting
February 1, 2013

Not to sound like Andy Rooney over here, but back in the day, the whole country saw Super Bowl ads at the same time -- during the Super Bowl. We all giggled ("Wasssaaaap?"), sniffled (the Budweiser Clydesdales crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to pay tribute to post-9/11 New York City), or shrugged together, and that was half the fun of watching the Super Bowl: the collective experience of the ads. (And football.)

[Related: Budweiser's SB ad wants you to name a teeny tiny horsie]

In 2013, out of 35 Super Bowl advertisers, fewer than 10 have elected to keep their ads a secret. Chrysler is one of them, and they have precedent; they kept their two-minute halftime spot, which featured Clint Eastwood, under wraps until it aired, and reaped the benefits when the ad's element of surprise made it memorable. We'll never forget the 2000 Nuveen ad that showed, via CGI, Christopher Reeve able to walk to a podium. One minute everyone in our living room is joking around and eating bean dip, the next thing you know grown men are mopping off their faces with corn chips. (It's below. Get the Kleenex out.)

Do you miss those days -- everyone seeing the same thing, whether awesome or meh, at the same time? Or do you like to get a sneak preview of the ads, so you can use the commercial time to make more chili or use the ladies'? Let us know in the comments.

The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, which airs Sunday, 2/3 at 6:30 PM on CBS.