Advertisers ready to rock the Super Bowl

Get ready for the Super Bowl advertising hype fest to explode this week.

The ad space — at up to $4.5 million per 30-second slot — is virtually sold out. Roughly half of the expected 40 or so Super Bowl advertisers already publicly have announced that they’re in the game. Beginning this week — with the Super Bowl less than four weeks off — the PR floodgates are about to open as each company seeks its marketing edge.

“Early and often has become the new mantra for Super Bowl advertisers,” says Stephen Greyser, a Harvard Business School professor who specializes in sports marketing. Because the competition for eyeballs is so intense — particularly on social media, he says, there’s little choice. “Each Super Bowl ad serves as a hub to promote the entire brand.”

On tap for 2015’s Super Bowl:

•Lots of first-timers. Skittles confirmed to USA TODAY that it’s in the game. “Fans should expect the unexpected as the Skittles brand continues celebrating our first Super Bowl,” says Matt Montei, senior marketing director at Wrigley. Skittles has a promotional video staring Super Bowl legend Kurt Warner.

Skittles joins at least four other new advertisers that already have announced, including Carnival, Loctite, Mophie and

•Oodles of tech. At least a half-dozen tech advertisers are expected to strut their stuff on Super Bowl Sunday, including GoDaddy, Mophie, and Squarespace. Several more are expected to announce soon.

•Plenty of consumer input. Carnival is letting consumers help it pick its Super Bowl spot from among a handful, including one ad about people fondly remembering their “first time.” (The joke is, the “first time” is their first cruise.)

Doritos is once again letting consumers vote for their favorite consumer-made Super Bowl spots in its “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. One of the finalist ads features a kid whose spelling bee outcome drastically changes after another savvy contestant passes gas at a strategic moment.

Read More at USA TODAY