By on February 5, 2011

Are you one of those who don’t watch the Super Bowl for the game, but for the ads? After taking mostly a leave of absence during carmageddon, carmakers will be out in force this time. There will be so many car commercials that “it looks like there will be auto gridlock in Super Bowl ads,” says USA Today. To get more impressions, carmakers are using YouTube to make the most out of the expensive airtime. Here comes a selection.

Volkswagen (see above) always had a thing for ads with minors. This year, they are back to their old tricks. With a rather cute one.

Volkswagen will also have a commercial for the new new Beetle. And it won’t even show a car!

The Kia Optima is not only popular the world over, but also with outerworldly aliens, if this spot is to be believed:

GM will splurge their new money found on Wall Street and will, if the rumors are correct, air between five and eight spots. Here is the first of the new crop of Chevy ads. Will the dealers be amused? (Rumor has it this spot has been yanked “because of a dispute.”)

Kia’s big brother Hyundai will feature Brett Favre. Here are only some odd outtakes:

Speaking of outtakes: Here is a rather strange Audi teaser for a hopefully shorter commercial on Sunday. Those things cost $3 mil for a 30 second spot, “a bargain” says USA Today.

Apparently, the subliminal message to be conveyed is that the Audi releases you from luxury jail. Or something along these lines.

There is a second part of the teaser, this is actually funnier: Kenny G puts riotous inmates to sleep.

Maybe Audi airs this one also, it kind of plows the same field (at a production cost that might be higher than the price of the airtime):

Mercedes has a pretty gutsy spot, in light of the not quite forgotten unintended acceleration hysteria. Cars that drive away by themselves:

Chrysler will air a spot featuring the Chrysler 200, serenaded by and Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself.” (Not on YouTube yet). According to the New York Times, Dodge might recycle their getaway car spot. Let’s hope the Times is wrong:

There probably will be some more. According to the Detroit News, Ford will skip the expensive game. They will air three spots during the slightly more affordable pregame show. Also according to the DetN, Toyota and Honda will not play ball.

Which one do you think is worth $3 mil?

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5 Comments on “Super Bowl Car Commercials: They’re Baaack!...”

  • avatar

    @Chevy Camero Commercial
    (think that mascot dude survived being tossed?)

    @Farve in the Future

    Not as funny, it’s no wonder that’s an out-take reel… it was funny as a skit the first time around on SNL, now, even with him playing himself in the future, it doesn’t seem funny this time around…

  • avatar

    One of these days VW will market their cars to adults.  But maybe not.  On the other hand, I never thought Kenny G could be anything but obnoxious.  This proves I was wrong, and that he has a sense of humor.  Never take yourself too seriously.

  • avatar

    Benz ad is really good.  The Camaro ad is awesome!!  Too bad it won’t see the light of day during the big game.  The best of the bunch. As for the Audi ad, I’d love to own that house…

  • avatar

    It’s not just a $3 million ad buy. This very post demonstrates how companies now use the Super Bowl well beyond the air time they buy. The ads are now part of fairly elaborate publicity campaigns that start, in some cases like Audi, as soon as they get done with last year’s work. Even the companies that don’t decide to make SB ad buys, play the game of will they or won’t they. As a result, the quintessential skeptical car site, TTAC, is giving VW, Chevy, Hyundai, Audi, Mercedes Benz and Dodge free advertising (along with a mention of Honda, Ford and Toyota).
    Man, I love capitalism. You make mock PR, but when it’s done right, it’s science and art. And very effective.
    As an aside, this brings up an interesting question. The NFL is notorious for giving any advertiser who uses the phrase “Super Bowl” a hard time if they aren’t some kind of official NFL sponsor. Hence the ads for Best Buy talking about the “Big Game” (I wonder if I can trademark “Big Game” and enforce it). Yet most of the advertisers on the Super Bowl broadcast are not actually in a business relationship with the NFL. So how come the NFL picks on the corner bar but doesn’t mind when GM Communications uses “Super Bowl” all over the place? Well, in part because all those $3 million dollar ad buys make it possible for the tv networks to pay the NFL billions for the broadcasting rights.
    As Neal Rubin of the Detroit News pointed out recently, there is one kind of business that can exploit the phrase Super Bowl all it wants to and that’s the media. Ain’t the First Amendment grand?

  • avatar

    BMW’s advanced diesel ad was pretty awesome (it’s on Youtube). The Passat ad is kind of stupid, but at least now we know what a Passat will start at when they go on sale. Didn’t watch any of the GM ads because why would I want to buy a GM? The Chrysler 200/Eminem ad seemed kind of pointless to me.

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