You know that idiom about “life imitating art?” Well it is going to be on full display during Super Bowl XLVII. No, not out there on the field, of course. That’s called football. What we’re talking about is going to happen during the commercials. See if you can stay with us on this…

The Office is a hit show from NBC. It was based off of a British show of the same name and with the same premise, namely that people work in offices. That part is simple enough. On the NBC show, which is now nearing the end of its successful near-decade long run, the company featured is called Dunder Mifflin, and they make paper products.

That means Dunder Mifflin is a made-up, fake company with a real fake website, right? It’s a TV show, so you couldn’t actually buy Dunder Mifflin products, right? Ah, but as of 2011, you have been able to buy actual, real products purportedly from this fake company! (Of course they are sold by a real company, Quill.com, which is a division of the very real office superstore Staples.)

And now it has come to this… there will be an ad during this year’s Super Bowl that features Dunder Mifflin products. I guess this means that the folks behind these real products from this fake company are clearly in it for the long haul, hoping to make real profits off real products inspired by a fake company featured on a show that, in less than a year, will be off the air!

I don’t know about you, but that makes the ol’ cerebral cortex do a bit of a runaround over here! Before you go and get too excited, though, note that the ad will only be shown in the greater Scranton, PA area. So I’d say the odds of you seeing the commercial while watching the game are mathematically calculated at Really Small.

Oh, and here’s one more twist: the featured spot will be a winning submission made by amateur filmmakers who entered a contest. The commercial they create and submit must, according to the contest’s official rules, clearly show the “company’s” flagship product, Dunder Mifflin Copy Paper.

So that means – you guessed it – those who wish to enter must purchase said ream of paper. Hmm… even with the cash prizes given out for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize, I’m beginning to suspect that the sneaky gears of the marketing machine may be turning at a few levels on this one…

Watch this real fake commercial and prepare for the real commercial: