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Shh! The Super Bowl commercials are on.

 A group of Michigan State University professors will get together to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday.   But unlike most people, they won’t be watching the game, they’re more interested in the commercials.

 MSU advertising and public relations professors have spent the last 15 years grading the Super Bowl commercials.   Robert Kolt helps organize the annual watch party.    The MSU instructor says a good Super Bowl commercial is worth more than the millions the company spends to air it during the Super Bowl.

 “What we know to be true absolutely…that the Super Bowl is a ‘good buy.’  Seriously," says Kolt,  "That $3.5 million in 30 seconds.  It turns out to be a very good investment.  And if you’re going to invest that money, you got to do the hype.  You got to do the PR campaign around it to give it even more value.”   

Kolt says Super Bowl commercials can be the difference between turning a profit, or not, for many businesses that advertise during the big game.

“The best ads in the Super Bowl will be humorous, and stand out…and have great production quality…and really be cute….be memoriable….and sell things throughout the year," says Kolt. 

Kolt’s already seen many of the commercials that will air during the Super Bowl.   He says auto company ads are generally disappointing this year.  His early favorites include several beer ads and one yogurt commercial. 

 The MSU professors will publish their results immediately after the game. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.