Commercials Animate Super Bowl

There was a football game going on, but for animation fans the real action was going on between plays at this year’s Super Bowl.

Airing on NBC, a record $206 million in advertising was sold for Super Bowl XLIII, in which the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 at Tampa, Fla.

Most unusual among the ads was the spot for DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters vs. Aliens, which aired in 3-D. Pixar-Disney also aired a high-profile commercial for its summer 3-D animated film, Up.

Animation featured prominently in other commercials, such as a Coke spot featuring people turning into animated avatars. The spot was made by Smith & Foulkes, whose short film This Way Up is nominated for an Oscar this year. Other spots using animation included a Bridgestone tire commercial that starred Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, a Cheetos ad featuring a digital Chester Cheetah, a Kellogg’s ad for Frosted Flakes featuring a revived baseball field and Tony the Tiger and a GE ad featuring a digital Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz.

Most films getting a push during the game were vfx-heavy films, with new glimpses offered of Star Trek, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Fast & Furious, Land of the Lost, Race to Witch Mountain and Angels and Demons.