Spannerhead Dot

The 2013 Parade of
Automotive Super Bowl Ads

February 1, 2013 by Matt

Increasingly, companies try to create a positive buzz around their upcoming Super Bowl commercials by releasing them early on the internet via YouTube or another social media outlet. Regardless of its effectiveness as a business decision versus capitalizing on the element of surprise by withholding an ad until the actual game, the week-before unveiling allows us to take an early peek at what automakers’ marketing departments have cooked up, and gives us a glimpse into their self-image and priorities.

My favorite, naturally, is the Audi spot featured at top. It’s fun, it showcases the actual car rather than projecting an amorphous emotion and hoping we associate it with the brand, and it really does communicate Audi’s bravery (some would say irrational stubbornness) in persisting with a mechanical configuration—quattro—inherently dynamically disadvantaged compared to those of its rivals. Well done.

For their part, Mercedes released a mildly racy teaser spot for their upcoming CLA, a baby CLS attempting to mimic its big brother’s swoopy lines and curb appeal in 2/3 scale. There really is little here besides the age-old (and admittedly effective) “sex sells” tactic.

The Kia ad is a teaser as well, and it certainly takes the “most potential to be truly bizarre” prize.

The cheeseball award this year has to go to VW‘s somewhat cringe-inducing faux-Jamaican accent office guy ad, a commercial that, as mentioned above, attempts to channel what the automaker hopes is the feeling drivers experience when behind the wheel of a VW, but somehow comes up short.

And then there’s Lincoln. Hapless, floundering Lincoln’s marketing department couldn’t even come up with a fresh idea of their own, so they called in air support and enlisted the “help” of social media so owners could supply them with a premise for their spot. In general (pun intended), I like Ford the best of the Big Three, and so I have every hope in the world that Lincoln finds its footing in the midst of the cloud of global luxury marques, but after witnessing their initial attempt at crafting an original commercial, I’m somewhat less optimistic about their chances of survival, to say nothing of actually thriving.

Filed under: Car Industry, Media, News

Leave a Reply