The Dark Vader kid, star of the new Volkswagen commercial.
The Dark Vader kid, star of the new Volkswagen commercial. - 
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JEREMY HOBSON: Well if you saw some or all of the Superbowl last night, and I'm guessing you did, you might have seen that cute Volkswagen commercial with the Darth Vader kid. In fact, you didn't even have to wait for the Superbowl to see the ad, because it was up on the web last week. In fact, many companies are deliberately taking part in the latest trend in advertising: the preview.

Marketplace's Jennifer Collins reports.

JENNIFER COLLINS: Proctor and Gamble launches a new Old Spice commercials on TV today. But the company has been teasing the ads featuring spokesman Isaiah Mustafa for weeks online.

ISAIAH MUSTAFA: Hello ladies.

A preview may seem a bit presumptuous for something like 30 seconds of air time. George Belch teaches marketing at San Diego State University.

GEORGE BELCH: Probably a lot of consumers are probably trying to find ways to avoid ads rather than pay attention to them.

Belch says for commercials that already have a following -- like the Old Spice campaign -- like some of yesterday's Super Bowl ads -- teasers allow companies to build audience on their websites, on Facebook or on twitter. Tim Calkins is a marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management.

TIM CALKINS: All of a sudden the return on investment begins to improve because you're getting now a lot more for your money.

He says ad previews are just getting started.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.