Car ads at Superbowl XLV

We’ve talked a lot about advertising recently, especially in the US market. There was some support for advertising at the Superbowl, too.

I thought I’d give you a walk through of the automotive-related advertising that was placed during the big game. Spots are said to go for several million dollars a-piece, which Saab just doesn’t have the cash for. For those companies that do, here’s how they spent it. You be the judge.

Suzuki Kizashi:


Chevy Cruze:




VW – Black Beetle




VW – The force (17 million views on Youtube)


Bridgestone – Reply all


Checy Silverado


Chevy Camaro


Audi – Release the hounds


Chrysler – Imported from Detroit – (great ad for a very mediocre car)


Mercedes Benz

httpvh:// – (please feel free to review)


Hyundai Elantra


Chevy Volt


Kia Optima


Mini USA

httpvh:// again


BMW Advanced diesel




Hundai Sonata Hybrid


Hyundai Elantra


Chevy Cruze (again – and holy crap! Saab, don’t ever do this)


28 thoughts on “Car ads at Superbowl XLV”

  1. SAAB probably does have the money, and it is the perfect venue for them next year.

    Get Jerry Seinfeld to do it. It will create immense buzz. Will it kill you marketing budget? Yes. Will it let people that SAAB is alive and the hatchback returns — yes. Even if it a crappy ad people will talk about it.

    Now to get SAAB to do a Talladega this year for SAAB with 100K miles on them…..

    • The cost of a :30 second spot on this year’s Super Bowl was anywhere from $2.5-$2.8 million. That’s just for the cost for the media buy. Add another couple million for the costs of production, possibly more than that since advertisers generally go all-in when they produce a Super Bowl commercial.

    • If the NFL and the player’s union don’t reach an agreement, there won’t be a Super Bowl next year! Personally, I think the NFL is pushing its luck. Expanding the season from 16 to 18 regular season games will increase league and team revenue, but, as the union says, it will also increase the wear and tear on players, along with increasing the possibility of injuries, without a raise in player pay. FYI: The 2014 Super Bowl will be played in the NY/NJ area, in an outdoor stadium where it’ll probably be frigid and snowy.

      • 18 games? And they’re complaining when the game is so stop-start they probably only play 10 minutes at proper pace? Bunch of pansies.

        Our league has just gone to a 24-game season, with full tackling and no padding.

  2. The Chevy Camaro ad was really well done. And the BMW Advanced Diesel ad brought me right back to the 1980’s when GM diesels ruled the earth. 😉

    And as for that Chrysler ad… It was cool, but a Sebring re-badge? Really? And American? The company is slowly being absorbed by Fiat.

    Ford did a lot with the Focus Rally, but not so much with ads. That new Focus is going to rule the road. Very cool little car.

    • Or vice versa. A lot of Alfa and Lancia driver seem unamused by the prospect that the next executive cars of their brands might be redesigned Chrysler 300s. Not to talk about Alfa SUVs from the US, or PT Cruisers as Lancia vans.

    • Tedjs February 8, 2011 at 11:30 am
      And the BMW Advanced Diesel ad brought me right back to the 1980′s when GM diesels ruled the earth.

      Looked it up on youtube, that BMW Diesel ad is really quite funny… Brings back memories of my dad’s ’79 Caddy diesel, the worst we car ever had.

  3. I pretty much vote this way as far as what speaks to me.

    #1 The Chrysler 200 ad was my favorite despite it was a little too long winded.
    #2 VM Beetle Ohhh black betty..ramalam
    #3 Audi Jailbreak

    • #1 Chrysler ad. Very American which may be hypocritical but nevertheless I loved it. About time they tied in Eminem with the Detroit scene.
      #2 VW Beetle. Goliath beetle with racing stripes and Ram Jam, done 🙂
      #3 Kia Optima – So crazy it was just funny.

    • I agree, I think the Chrysler ad was by far the best. It hit on all the themes. As for them being owned by Fiat, if Americans don’t buy Chryslers no one will. The 200 is not much to write home about, but it is the only Chrysler product currently made in the USA.

  4. A Saab commercial highlighting the 9-5, -94X, and facelifted 9-3 would have been perfect, oh well.

    Also, I’m sorry to report but the Chrysler 200 is NOT made/assembled in Detroit. Its assembled in Sterling Heights, MI (Detroit Area but not Detroit). A small point but given the entire focus of the commercial its not quite accurate. FWIW, I did love the ad!

    • it’s been suggested that it would have been much better to feature the new 300 in this ad (I agree), but it was kept out for the reason you mention – geography – it’s made in Canada.

      I guess they figured Sterling Hts was close enough 🙂

      • I’d like to take the first 1:30 of the Chrysler commercial, change the car, the environment… a few words…. BAM… 9-3X / 9-4X.

        Off topic… I was kind of sickened by the constant sexual innuendos used in a majority of the commercials… just too much for my liking.

  5. The ads were kind of weak this year, though I did like the Camaro ad, and both of Eminem’s ads. The best ads I can remember were for XXXV in 2001, but I might be just a bit biased, as that was the year Baltimore got what it deserved after being left for dead by the Colts.

    This year, I’m just happy that Ben Rapistberger didn’t get another ring. Anyone but them…or the “Colts.”

    • @ Jeff, after all we been through…. Baltimore??

      boooo hissss but at least Ben has the rings already 🙂 we’ll save THAT conversation for the ‘skunkworks…..


  6. I liked the hard of hearing Chevy Cruze commercial.

    I got to preview the MB commercial thru the dealership but never got it. They did a good job of building up to the finale but when it arrived it was nothing exciting. Fail.

  7. The Chrysler ad is fantastic. It’s about authenticity. Here we live, that’s what we are, and these are the cars we build. And it’s about local vs global. Really local. Not made in the USA local, but importet from Detroit local.

    The 200 may not be a good car (no idea) and not even be built in Detroit, but this is mainly a commercial about Chrysler, not so much about a specific model.

    Saab should do something similar.

    The Chevy ads were also quite good, imho

    • Thylmuc…

      I’ve worked in advertising for a long, long time. Over the years, whenever someone has pointed out a commercial and suggested that I “do something similar,” it’s always sent a shiver down my spine and lead to long conversations about what they actually mean by “something similar.” On a stage as big and as costly as the Super Bowl, in any television advertising media buy for that matter, everything should be completely original – by that, I mean an original strategy, along with a piece of film that’s so original that it’ll capture the attention of viewers. (I call it “on-target strategically but off-center creatively.”)

      You’re right, though. The Chrysler commercial is about authenticity. In two minutes – a time slot four times longer than most of the other commercials on the Super Bowl – it captured the zeitgeist of Detroit, possibly even America, and it elevated Chrysler and the Chrysler 200 to a hopeful level. I have no idea if the 200 is a good car or a bad car, but I have a sense that Chrysler dealers will experience increased showroom traffic as a result of the commercial.

      I liked the VW “Darth Vader” commercial, as well as most of Chevy’s commercials, particularly the ones for the Volt and the Camaro. Audi’s commercial, in my opinion, was good but not a standout.

      BMW got my attention for a couple of reasons: in one of the company’s two commercials, they featured the X3, “designed in America, built in America”; in the other, they talked about their diesel cars. Both were okay but only okay. In my opinion, the brand is in danger of losing its “Ultimate Driving Machine” mystique and German engineering heritage.

      Speaking of heritage, the Mercedes commercial starring P-Diddy was a waste of production dollars, although perhaps they used him to appeal to the younger audience they’ll be going after when they introduce their less expensive line of MB’s later this year. For what it’s worth, by the way, I’ve never been a fan of “heritage” commercials. They’re “me-too.” While every good car company can do one, what matters most to car buyers is what they can buy today.

  8. I took a look at all these ads, liked some, some I didn’t. But perhaps that’s not the main goal of an advertisement…so I went biking for 2 hours and now I can tell which ones I remember the most. In my eyes (in that respect) the winners are:
    – The Bridgestone ad with the beawer (nice one)
    – The Kia Optima ad (like that one)
    – Both of the ads (cool ads), though I had to look again to remember who it was for
    – The Audi ad, though that one did nothing for me (I don’t like it).

    However I don’t know the soul of an American consumer, so I can’t really tell. For me – and that’s a very biased opinion – the best of all these ads is the 31 sec ad telling the Saab story (not presented in this string). I had to see it many times – I like it so much.

  9. Some great ads there, and some not so great.

    That Kia epic ride one… as someone who does the odd bit of animation here and there… I cannot believe how much trouble they went to for such a crappy ad.

  10. I loved the Chrysler/Detroit ad, but I’m biased; I’m a Detroit native. For the record, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is built in the city of Detroit, and so is/was the Viper. Sterling Heights is close enough, and there are several other Chrysler facilities in and around Detroit. I’m not a fan of Eminem, but he nailed it. The gospel choir at the Fox Theater was nice, too. Chrysler/Fiat is making a run at it, for sure. I wish them well.

  11. There’s a reason why all of those auto manufacturers spend the $$ to advertise during the Super Bowl. However, if you don’t have an add that’s “cute” or “clever” people won’t remember it. So basically you will have wasted millions. My issue with Saab isn’t so muchthat they don’t advertise during events such as the Super Bowl, my complaint is that I NEVER see a Saab commercial at all. EVER! It doesn’t matter whether it’s during prime time or at 1:00AM, I never see any commercials for Saab! How in the world do they expect to sell cars if people don’t know they still exsist?? I bought a 9-3 Aero in October and when I tell people I bought a Saab many of them replied that they didn’t think Saab was still in business! Nice cars, terrible marketing!

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