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Super Bowl Auto Spots Create Social Media Buzz in Advance of Big Game

2/1/2013
At least seven automotive brands are creating early buzz by courting consumers via social media, including Twitter and YouTube, and in movie theaters with pre-Super Bowl teasers for their commercials.

Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota already are regaling prospective customers with ads for their new models before the 47th Super Bowl that will be held this weekend on Sunday, February 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. Some 115 million viewers are expected to watch the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens--as well as the commercials.

Advertising spots, which cost between $2.4 million and $4.0 million for a 30-second commercial, are as much about entertainment as about promoting brand image and new models. The auto ads this year are no exception as far as entertainment--they feature humor, sex appeal, creative and far-out themes from space babies to a senior prom, in addition to selling their new wares--cars, crossovers, and special features.

Some media reports indicate that auto ads accounted for about one out of every six commercials during past Super Bowl extravaganzas, with seven of the 33 advertisers in the 2012 game automotive manufacturers--the largest number of any industry, according to a Kanter media official. Those companies paid about $94.5 million on 16 commercials for 12 brands.

This year, companies are starting even earlier with social buzz. Audi, Lincoln and Kia have generated a lot of social stir before the Super Bowl with teasers and interactive marketing.

Although Chevrolet may not be airing spots during the game, the bow tie brand is involved in the half-time show with Beyonce--who likely will receive her own special version of the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, according to NBCNEWS.com. So far, mum's the word on commercials for Chrysler products. In the past, memorable spots during the Super Bowls have included rap singer Eminem and film director and actor Clint Eastwood; and this year will probably include another long spot that could be memorable, according to Brent Snavely of The Detroit Free Press.

Some of the models featured in the upcoming 2013 Super Bowl ads are:


Some highlights from upcoming Super Bowl ads:

Audi let YouTube viewers vote for the ending of a spot that will run during the game. The final spot will be shown on YouTube in advance of the game and on CBS during the Super Bowl. The ad features a nervous teenager on prom night who has no date and no confidence, until his father tosses him the keys to his 2013 Audi S6 performance sports car. The inspired teen heads to the gym and approaches the prom queen for a kiss. The last scene was decided by YouTube viewers.

Fiat brings a little of Italy and five beautiful women--all sisters--to a spot for the Fiat 500L that seats five and is called "very family friendly."

Hyundai has tackled five game-day ads this year that include four all-new commercials. Two are for the pre-game show and two are to be broadcast during the game. Humor takes the front seat in a Sonata Turbo commercial narrated by Jeff Bridges. Another commercial for the new Genesis R-Spec with 429 horsepower takes the car around a road course and offers comparisons to some very fast models from BMW and Porsche.

Kia developed "Babylandia" to introduce its 2014 Sorento CUV in movie theaters and on YouTube, as well as during the Super Bowl. It's a 60-second spot with a mini-movie set on a distant planet that introduces the redesigned family crossover.

Lincoln will show a comeback ad for the brand, with an emphasis on the MKZ during the Super Bowl. Before the event, late-night talk show host and comedian Jimmy Fallon led a social media script writing effort through Twitter.

Mercedes-Benz is airing a teaser Super Bowl commercial that features Kate Upton, an actress and model who has appeared in special Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, approaching her car in slow motion as a team of young football players washes her Mercedes-Benz CLA. According to AutoWeek, the ad on YouTube has garnered more than 5 million views.

Toyota is ramping up humor and "wish granting" fantasy spots for its new RAV4 and the RAV4 Genie, played by Kaley Cuoco from "The Big Bang Theory" on CBS.

Volkswagen has already aired a Super Bowl spot with nearly a week to go until the game. Volkswagen tells you that office life doesn't need to be such a downer, using lots of humor and a few lines from "Get Happy" by Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff.

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