Automakers Ram Up Ads for Super Bowl XLV

At least eight auto brands have purchased ad airtime for the next Super Bowl sports event to be held in Arlington, Texas, on February 6. That means we can expect to witness the biggest auto-ad smackdown of recent times, as some automakers plan to air two or even more commercials during the game.

At the 2010 Super Bowl, five car makers aired a combined 5 minutes and 30 seconds worth of ads, while the same number of companies ran just three minutes worth of commercials in 2009. With an ad costing as much as $3 million, it seems that auto makers are ready to ditch their more conservative ads of the last couple of years in favor of funnier, eye-catching spots.

These days most commercials have pretty much the same agenda: a car is traveling on the road, with music playing on the background. To Steve Wilwhite, who worked twenty years for Volkswagen’s American branch, these campaigns are “absolute dreck”, “mind-numbing” and “uninspiring”.

That’s why car companies have to push their limits once again in terms of advertising. “You must have a key, new, innovative, value-laden message to put out there”, said George Cook, executive professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Rochester's Simon Graduate School of Business.

One of the most catching ads of the past years was Hyundai’s “Angry Bosses” masterminded by Jeff Goodby of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, who now work for Chevrolet.

“The Hyundai Assurance spots wouldn't have won the USA Today ad meter, but they were certainly written about in the wake of the Super Bowl a lot. There are also things like 'Angry Bosses' [an ad that aired in Super Bowl 2009] which did do well on the polls because it was designed to be something people remembered, laughed at, talked about”, Mr. Goodby commented.

One of the eight confirmed buyers is BMW, which returns to the Super Bowl after a decade of absence. The Germans plan to use the football match as a stage to promote several new cars.

GM didn’t buy ad space in the last two games, but it’s planning a comeback with Chevrolet. Chrysler did feature a Dodge ad in the last Super Bowl, but this time plans to up the ante.

Audi is consistent: this is going to be the fourth consecutive year that the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer seeks publicity during the first commercial break. Volkswagen will join Audi by purchasing an additional spot.

According to Autonews, Kia will double its exposure, opting for a 60-second ad this time, while Hyundai is bringing out the big guns with three secured commercials – one more than in 2010.

Mercedes is preparing for its 125th anniversary and four new launches next year, so it’s going to run a 60-second ad during the fourth quarter.

Ford opted not get on the Super Bowl train as it will only advertise during Fox’s pre-game coverage.

Source: Automotive News

By Csaba Daradics