NEW YORK: Large advertisers including General Motors and Pepsi are ready to make Super Bowl ads once more, after taking a break from the event this year.

Advertising Age reports stronger demand for ad space for the February 2011 event, to be broadcast in the US by Fox.

Spots are currently over 90% sold out, with 30-second ads having been sold to advertisers at up to $3m (€2.3m, £1.9m) apiece, according to a spokesperson for the network.

David Schwab, a vice president at sports marketing firm Octagon, commented: "The public sentiment about sports and entertainment sponsorship has turned back into a positive light.

"The reach you get with the Super Bowl and the additional publicity and social-media play is unparalleled to anything in the market."

Super Bowl ad space for 2011 is selling quicker than it did for each of the past two years, signalling that US advertisers are beginning to spend again in the wake of the economic downturn.

The Super Bowl in particular - and live TV sports events in general - are also becoming increasingly attractive for advertisers due to people's changing media habits.

Viewers of these programmes are thought more likely to stay watching during ad breaks than they would be if they accessed the content online or via their DVRs.

GM, which filed for Chapter 11 reorganisation and agreed to a government bailout in 2009, has been absent from the Super Bowl for the past two years.

Pepsi also turned its back on the event in 2010, diverting funds instead to its social media-based Pepsi Refresh project.

As reported on Warc in February, prices for 30-second spots during the 2010 Super Bowl show are thought to have fallen when compared to the previous year.

Figures from TNS Media Intelligence suggested that costs dropped from $3m per spot in 2009 to just $2.5-2.8m.

Such an annual decline had occurred just once before in the event's history.

Data sourced from Advertising Age/TNS; additional content by Warc staff