It’s that time of year again, when two teams square off for the ultimate crown in professional football. At the same time, advertisers will be squaring off for their own annual Super Bowl competition. Like last year, YouTube is partnering with the network broadcasting the game–in this case, NBC–to bring you the YouTube Ad Blitz, an online destination where fans can watch all the Super Bowl commercials and vote for their favorites.

YouTube Ad Blitz Lets Fans Vote On Super Bowl Commercials

Anyone paying attention knows that the Super Bowl ads are as big a deal as the game is these days–have been for decades. Last year saw Chrysler, Volkswagen, and a host of other brands see great brand awareness and fan engagement long after the game was over, and it was because their ads were especially powerful… engaging… and memorable.

Volkswagen stole the show last year with a pint-sized Darth Vader:

Anyway, when major brands are creating entire online video campaigns just to market another commercial… well, you know that online video has become a pretty big freaking deal. And YouTube Ad Blitz is only helping the brands squeeze extra juice from their Super Bowl commercials, giving viewers a place to not only watch their favorite ads, but also vote on the best and worst. So this is your chance to have an impact on which ads get the most attention following the game–not yet… the ads won’t be there until after the game.

And none of it would be happening the way it is if it weren’t for the Internet. Sure, Super Bowl commercials have been a big deal for a long time, and have always been the stuff of “water cooler” conversation. But with the dawn of online video, the ads live on long after the game is over… and fans come back over and over to watch and re-watch their favorites. The web gives a great ad a chance to become an engagement tool.

There have been many great Super Bowl ads in years gone by. I’m a particularly big fan of the Terry Tate: Office Linebacker series:

It’s hard to believe that commercial is nearly 10 years old. I’m also a big fan of the cat herders:

What are your favorite Super Bowl ads? What are the best recent ads, and which ones have capitalized on their online afterlife the most? Have your say on which ads were the best after this year’s Super Bowl by paying a visit to YouTube Ad Blitz.