Super Bowl Ads
A thirty-second spot in this year's Super Bowl is going to cost $2.25 million. That's a record and is up 7% over last year.
Given their high cost and the intense scrutiny they receive, breaking commercials on the Super Bowl is a high risk proposition. Get it wrong and you've tossed away a big chunk of this year's advertising budget.
There is also the danger of hyper-awareness. Viewers watch, evaluate, and discuss the commercials as commercials. The underlying product can easily get lost. Often advertisers end up making a "great commercial" rather than one that most effectively conveys their message.
Some companies have to advertise on the Super Bowl. Budweiser commercials are almost a tradition. New movies, because they have to build awareness quickly, can benefit from the huge audience. Most of the other advertisers are rolling the dice in the hope that they can catch lightening the way Apple did with the "1984" spot.
UPDATE: Justin Katz comments here.