2011 Super Bowl Car Commercials

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Automotive News

Andrew Kaufman is an automotive journalist and content manager from Los Angeles, CA. He received his English Degree from Colorado College and has written about a variety of topics throughout his career.

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, Automotive News - March 18, 2013
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With the auto industry revival in full swing, the automaker's marketing departments were ready to jump back into the spotlight by buying advertising spots on the most watched television event of the year, the Super Bowl. While the past couple of years have seen a decline in auto industry advertising during the Big Game (due in equal parts to embarrassment from recalls, bailouts and declining revenues), the 2011 Super Bowl showcased innovative new ads from companies like General Motors, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen and Audi.

The Super Bowl, which aired on FOX at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PST on Sunday, February 6, is obviously not a cheap event to advertise on. 30 second spots during the telecast were priced anywhere from $2.8 - $3 million. But with an estimated audience of over 95 million people, the exposure that it can bring can make even that hefty price tag worth it.

Of course, shelling out the money to purchase the airtime is only one half of the equation. The next step is to create a compelling commercial that is able to communicate the value and feeling of the brand in a short period of time. Whether it's through humor, playfulness, nostalgia, sexiness, visual inventiveness, music, or celebrity endorsements, each brand tried to get their message across to consumers in the most efficient way possible. Whether they succeed or not is another story.

Here are a few of the many Super Bowl car commercials that aired during the big game. Since CarsDirect also has data on which car brands received an uptick in interest following the game, we have also provided an analysis of which commercials seemed to connect with consumers the most (based on traffic increases to specific models in the day following the game).

In ranking the ads, we looked at the percentage increase in traffic* to each specific model, as well as the total amount of advertising time each received (one ad = 30 seconds) to come up with an "Effectiveness Index." (* based on traffic increases to specific models in the day following the game)

Hyundai Super Bowl Commercial

The Korean automaker Hyundai had a banner year in 2010 and shows not signs up letting up. Hyundai actually had 3 commercials in the Super Bowl, one of which was a leaked spot featuring a humorous "Expose" on driving sheep that features the Elantra. Both the Elantra and Sonata will be featured in the Super Bowl ads which will be supported by print and online ads prior to the game.

Hyundai Traffic Inc/Dec: 31%
Total Seconds Advertised: Three 30 second ads
Effectiveness index: 0.35

Elantra Traffic Inc/Dec: 68%
Seconds Advertised: Two 60 second ads
Effectiveness index: 1.14

Sonata Traffic Inc/Dec: 16%
Seconds Advertised: One 30 second ad
Effectiveness index: 0.53

Volkswagen Black Beetle Super Bowl Commercial

Volkswagen hoped to kick off the launch of two of their new vehicles with a couple of cleverly designed commercials. The first, which heralds the launch of VW's new "Black" Beetle, takes its name literally - with a CGI Beetle bounding through the jungle past a host of slower bugs. The second, titled simply "The Force," shows a young child dressed as Darth Vader who tries unsuccessfully to use The Force around the house. That spot focuses on the 2012 Passat. While neither of these models are currently in showrooms, these spots do a great job of generating excitement for their eventual launch.






Volkswagen Traffic Inc/Dec: 23%
Total Seconds Advertised: Two 30 second ads
Effectiveness index: 0.39

Passat Traffic Inc/Dec: 77%
Seconds Advertised: One 30 second ad
Effectiveness index: 2.56

Beetle Traffic Inc/Dec: 33%
Seconds Advertised: One 30 second ad
Effectiveness index: 1.10

Kia Super Bowl Commercial

Kia's Super Bowl spot, titled "One Epic Ride," featured an Optima traveling through space and time being pursued by an assortment of aliens, creatures, villains and gods. The spot will also be linked to Kia's "One Epic Contest" which will give players the ability to use various clues in order to solve a final puzzle in the hopes of winning one of five 2011 Kia Optimas.

, Automotive News

Andrew Kaufman is an automotive journalist and content manager from Los Angeles, CA. He received his English Degree from Colorado College and has written about a variety of topics throughout his career.

Follow On: Google+

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