Carmakers rev up Super Bowl ads
At least nine have spots airing Sunday, a new high
January 30, 2014
More automakers than ever will advertise in the Super Bowl this year.
At least nine plan to air spots in the big game on Fox Sunday, including first-time Super Bowl advertiser Jaguar.
It will mark the fourth straight year that auto has been the game’s biggest ad category, following a pullback in Super Bowl advertising by carmakers during the depths of the recession in 2009 and 2010.
“Car companies (along with beer/spirits) have long been a big part of the Super Bowl ad game, primarily because they are selling a lifestyle as much as anything,” says one buyer.
Last year six carmakers advertised in the Super Bowl, according to Kantar Media, out of 34 total advertisers in the game. Eighteen percent of all advertising in the 2013 game was for cars.
In 2012, seven auto manufacturers advertised, and in 2011 the number was six. But in 2009 and 2010, only seven total advertised.
It’s little wonder more brands wanted in this year. Over the past few games automakers have hijacked the post-Super Bowl commercial buzz.
In 2011, Volkswagen’s “Little Darth Vader” became the most-watched big-game ad ever online, attracting 59 million views and still counting. And Chrysler’s “God Made a Farmer” and “Halftime in America” ads have scored very well in postgame ad surveys the past two years.
This year luxury carmakers such as Jaguar and Audi are making a push into the big game.
“While during regular season, you might see a lot more Ford utility truck-type ads that resonate with the blue collar, everyday male, once you get into playoffs and Super Bowl you will see more luxury brands like Cadillac, Lexus, etc.,” the buyer says.
“These brands feel their products and image align with the demographic of who watches the Super Bowl.”
Indeed, Nielsen recently released a report that found that more than a quarter of households that tuned into the game made more than $100,000 per year.
Of course, there will always be debate over whether Super Bowl advertising is worth the high price, a reported $4 million for a 30-second spot this year.
At least one car maker that sat out last year and dropped out entirely during the recession seems to believe it is.
General Motors will return to the game after a one-year absence with two spots for Chevrolet.
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