‘Sopranos’ Sponsor AOL Super Bowl Ad Gallery

“Sopranos” character Paulie Walnuts appears in video pre-roll ads introducing viewers to a recently-launched AOL gallery for Super Bowl spots past and present. It’s part of the TV series’ sponsorship of the video feature, which is aimed at promoting its sixth season on Time Warner-owned HBO.

The historical ads are already available on an AOL Sports mini-site, with HBO as the sole sponsor. A selection of this year’s ads will be made available after the game ends Sunday. Viewers will be able to vote on their favorite ads.

The video pre-roll ads feature actor Tony Sirico talking about the ads, the show and an exclusive trailer for the show’s new season available on the mini-site. Banner ads also appear throughout the site. The campaign was developed by interactive agency Deep Focus.

“We knew going into this that one of the most popular days for streaming video throughout the year is the Super Bowl. We knew with the hype this year, there was going to be more of an emphasis placed by consumers on historic video commercials,” Ian Schafer, CEO and founder of Deep Focus, told ClickZ News.

Beginning this week, users can vote for their favorite among 13 classic’ Super Bowl commercials, including Coke’s “Mean Joe’ Greene,” Apple’s “1984,” EDS’ “Cat Herders,” and Reebok’s “Terry Tate.” The ads will also be featured on CBS television Saturday night, with viewers encouraged to visit AOL’s site to vote.

AOL is not the only place Web users will be able to see the Super Bowl ads this year. The NFL will make them available on NFL.com after the game, as well as air an ads-only show on its cable network, its VOD service, and via Sprint’s mobile network. ABC and ESPN also plan to re-air the ads, on TV and online at ESPN.com and on the ESPN 360 online video network.

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