Super Bowl: Best Deals and Contests for the Big Game (Video)

The big game is only a few days away, and with it comes a host of marketing opportunities, commercials, promotions, contests, and giveaways.

Each year, execs at major food and beverage companies wrack their brains for ways to get you, the consumer, to laugh, cry, and pull out your wallet before, during, and after the Super Bowl.

Though the cost of airing a Super Bowl commercial is famously high (about $4 million for a 30-second spot, according to CNN Money), the rewards are great -- especially when there's a consumer deal or contest tie-in.

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We've compiled a list of the best deals and contests for this year's big game -- along with some of the cooler commercials set to run.

Papa John's Coin Toss

We may not agree with founder John Schnatter about mixing pizza and politics, but that doesn't mean we didn't enter the Papa John's coin toss experience.  It's pretty easy, and the odds are 50/50 -- just visit the Papa John's website and predict the outcome of the Super Bowl coin toss -- heads or tails. If you're correct, you win a free large one-topping pizza (via email coupon).

Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest
This annual contest has to be the most creative. Doritos asks fans to watch and vote on five amateur commercials. The winning director not only gets to see their ad shown during the big game (with an average price of about $4 million), but they'll also work with Michael Bay on his new Transformers film. These commercials are always clever, and this year's batch includes cross-dressing dads, annoying farm animals, and plenty of Chihuahuas. Watch all the entries here

Pizza Hut Super Bowl Giveaway
Even before the Super Bowl happens, the companies who have invested millions in advertising space capitalize on it by "leaking" their commercials to the public. This year's Pizza Hut commercial is all about the "Hut" -- get it? The pizza giant has announced that if the word hut is said during the Super Bowl (duh), it'll give away a free mystery product on Tuesday, February 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. at all of its restaurants. The company won't say what the product is, but it's likely a new item. We're banking on pepperoni dessert cupcakes.

Coca-Cola's You Decide the Ending Contest
Coca-Cola is taking a cue from Doritos in its "You Decide the Ending" contest. In this commercial (which, to us, looks like a spoof of the Australian drag queen movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), cowboys, showgirls, and bad-landers race through the desert, presumably to find an icy-cold Coke. Who gets the refreshment? You decide the ending here.

Pepsi's Kick-Off the Super Bowl Halftime Show Twitter Campaign
Pepsi doesn't have a contest. But it does have Beyoncé. And a Twitter hashtag. The soda giant wants you to post messages and pictures welcoming Beyoncé to the big game using #PEPSIHALFTIME on Twitter. Guess the company used all of its money on Bey-Bey's contract.

Taco Bell's Taco 12-Pack
Taco Bell is serving up a special 12-pack in a football-themed to-go box. Each box is filled with six crunchy tacos and six Doritos Locos tacos. But what's really getting buzz is the company's Super Bowl commercial, which features a bunch of senior citizens living large for one night and then getting their after-party meal at Taco Bell before heading back to the retirement community.

Chipotle is offering a "Burritos by the Box" promotion. Place an order for six or more burritos  for pick-up anytime Sunday, February 3; then bring your receipt back before February 28 and receive a free burrito, bowl, salad, or order of tacos. You can order up to 100 burritos -- but orders of 50 or more require 24-hour notice.

Budweiser Name the Baby Clydesdale Contest
Budweiser gets the "awwwww" vote with its "name the baby" contest. A baby Clydesdale, born January 16 in Boonville, Missouri, will star in this year's ad. The 150-pound foal doesn't have a name, so the beer giant is asking for suggestions via Twitter. Tweet your name with hashtag #Clydesdales. We're thinking Short Order is a great name for this adorable horse.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

Follow Short Order on Facebook , on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

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