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Kai Ryssdal: The National Football League's pretty excited about its Super Bowl matchup. The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers are two of the most recognizable franchises the NFL has. But that's not the only reason that Super Bowl parties this year are expected to be bigger than ever.
Marketplace's Jennifer Collins reports.
Jennifer Collins: The National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend the most ever this year -- more than $10 billion on the Super Bowl. We're not just talking about bean dip and chips. The NRF's Kathy Grannis says that may include a new TV for nearly 5 percent of viewers. It's all about throwing the best party on the block.
Kathy Grannis: And a large part of impressing your family and friends is really making sure they can see the game in high definition on the latest and greatest TV that you can get your hands on.
But wait didn't we just emerge this horrible recession when the Super Bowl was seen as a sign of American excess? General Motors was out of the game during the downturn. And one of the few bright spots was this Snickers ad.
Snickers commercial: Football player: "You're been playing like Betty White out there." White: "That's not what your girlfriend said."
Phil Lempert: Last year it was plain and simple -- pretty boring.
Food anlyst Phil Lempert says this year, GM's back. So's Pepsi. And Best Buy's among many new Super Bowl advertisers.
Lempert: I think this year the Super Bowl ads are going to be more creative, and for those who are smart, bigger than ever.
Brad Adgate of Horizon Media says Super Bowl commercials have been sold out for months.
Brad Adgate: That's again an indication that advertisers feel that good times are back or that the economy's getting stronger and they're investing in these types of shows to celebrate that.
And with a 100-million-person audience, Adgate says this big game is still one of the best investments an advertiser can make.
I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.
Ryssdal: We did a staff survey around here of favorite Super Bowl ads this afternoon. You can see our staff picks and share your own.