Auto commercials strike a note during the Super Bowl

February 4, 2013 12:00 AM

Now that the big game is over, it's time to decide who really won the Super Bowl - not the battle on the field, but the one on the airwaves. With countless commercials trying to make an impact on viewers, the night saw ads that were comical, memorable and thought-provoking.

The average 30-second time slot for commercials cost about $3.7 million, and major brands have been working tirelessly to outdo each other and make an impact with the millions of people watching. The New York Times reports that early estimates suggest that this year's event will surpass the record for the largest audience, reaching approximately 112 million spectators.

The early bird gets the worm
According to CNN, Hyundai emerged as one of the big winners of the evening. The automaker's ads was successful in driving interest online, as some auto websites saw between a 700 and 1,000 percent increase in traffic to Hyundai pages. The only manufacturer to come close to Hyundai's growth in traffic was Audi, as the German brand's commercial featuring a boy on his way to prom. Interestingly, that ad lead to a jump in interest for the Audi S8 - not the S6 featured in the time slot.

These ads were undoubtedly helped by the time they aired, as cars advertised shortly before the game began and in the first quarter saw greater traffic increases. Later commercials, although seen by more people, did not drive viewers away from the tight action of the game itself - no matter how appealing the low vehicle maintenance was. 

Ads make audiences laugh and cry
When it came to leaving an emotional mark on audience members, a few automobile ads stood apart from the pack. Ram's extended ad used the tagline "To the farmer in all of us" and featured an out take from the Paul Harvey speech "So God Made a Farmer."

Car Buzz reports that this was the second year in a row that Chrysler managed to inspire viewers with its ad, as last year's "Halftime in America" spot, which was centered around a speech by Clint Eastwood, quickly became a success. Thanks to the use of a few powerful images, along with Harvey's speech, the American automaker was able to capture the magic yet again. 

Kia also made an impact with one of its commercials, which attempted to answer the dreaded question of "Where do babies come from?" Dubbed "Space Babies," the relatable ad showcased some impressive special effects and a comical premise. The Huffington Post claims that the ad has all the makings of a viral hit and should help boost interest in the family friendly brand.

Fade to black
All advertisers were thrown for a loop when a power outage temporarily delayed the game and sent officials scrambling to fix the problem. But there were a few who responded more quickly than others, capitalizing on the surge of interest.

Audi even used the opportunity to separate itself from luxury competitor Mercedes-Benz, who shelled out millions to rename the arena the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome. The brand's official Twitter sent a tweet saying it was "sending some LEDs" to the stadium to help out its fellow automaker - a dig at the features and auto repair capabilities of Mercedes-Benz - and the response made Audi one of the first major companies to respond to the blackout, CNN reports.

Mercedes-Benz did have some positives during the game, however, as its ad for the CLA used a surplus of celebrities to make a mark. Actor Willem Dafoe joined supermodel Kate Upton and singer Usher to showcase what could happen to one man should he choose to sell his soul for the luxury car, but in the end the low starting price for the CLA makes it affordable to an entirely new segment of drivers. 

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