Super Bowl LIII Commercials: Automotive Category
The Super Bowl is the biggest game of the year with much anticipated commercials. Companies spend millions on Super Bowl ads, all chasing the same goals to be remembered and talked about by fans across the county. During Super Bowl LIII, automotive companies went all out, pulling all the stops to grab viewers’ attention. Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram all advertised during the commercial breaks.
Mercedes Benz: “Say the Word”
After taking a year off from The Super Bowl, Mercedes came back to advertise during the big game, held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Mercedes ran a 60 second commercial focusing on the new voice-command feature, MBUX infotainment system. The commercial features a man using the power of his new A-class sedan to change the course of events throughout his day. The commercial also features Ludacris, a killer whale, Wile E. Coyote, and some opera singing.
Hyundai: “The Elevator”
Hyundai, the official sponsor of Super Bowl LIII, ran a humorous commercial during the first quarter of the game. Jason Bateman (the elevator operator) and the 2020 Palisade SUV star in the commercial. The commercial highlights Hyundai’s “Shopper Assurance” online program, a service used to improve the car buying experience.
Kia: “Give It Everything”
Kia returned for its 10th consecutive Super Bowl commercial, running a 90 minute ad in the third quarter. This is Kia’s longest commercial yet, taking place in West Point, Georgia where this small town is known for building the 2020 Kia Telluride. In the commercial, there no celebrities featured, instead Kia focuses on the people who make vehicles. Kia’s vehicle production in the small town has helped provide jobs trailing the closures of textile mills. The commercial also launched "The Great Unknowns Scholarship," a scholarship program Kia developed to help young people get into higher education.
Toyota: "Toni" & "Pinball Wizard”
Toyota is the official sponsor of The Super Bowl Halftime Report and the only automotive brand that airs two 60-second commercials. The first commercial “Toni”, focuses on women empowerment and introduces the world to Toni Harris. Toni is the first female football player to be offered multiple football collegiate scholarships (non-specialist position). The commercial follows Toni’s journey to success and how she has defined the odds in her new RAV4 crossover.
After the halftime show ended, Toyota’s second commercial aired. The commercial introduces the all-new 2020 GR Supra, showing the vehicle conquering all the obstacles in the life-sized pinball machine. This commercial represented a last-minute ad buy by Toyota.
Audi’s Super Bowl commercial comeback was by far the most luxurious automotive ad. The commercial introduces the Audi e-tron GT, which is still in production form. Audi plans to launch the all-electric vehicle within the next 3 years. The commercial illustrates a man daydreaming about an electric vehicle future and the taste of luxury, though he then wakes up to choking on a cashew in his cubicle. Audi also returned to the Super Bowl ad game after a one-year absence.
Dodge: “Big Game Blitz”
Although Dodge’s ad never made it onto the TV screen during game time, The Super Bowl related ad was featured on social media. Dodge advertised 3 of their most popular vehicles speeding through the streets of Atlanta and around Mercedes-Benz Stadium to the classic country song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Dodges remake of the song brings the muscle car attitude and an all-time classic song together. The ad has over 5 million views on YouTube at time of publishing.
Ram & Jeep: “Big Game Blitz”
Like Dodge, Ram and Jeep ran Super Bowl ads on social media during the big game. One of Ram’s ads features two cowboys recalling their favorite past Super Bowl ads. The cowboys both come to agreement that Super Bowl ads should just forget the tricks and show the actual product they’re selling. But do all Super Bowl commercial fans agree?
A Jeep ad on social media introduces the new Gladiator pickup truck to Super Bowl fans. The ad features an old classic pickup truck being crushed in a junk yard, but the truck fights back turning into the Jeep Gladiator. Jeep also produced a second ad “More Than Just Words”. This ad features OneRepublic singing the national anthem and of course a Jeep.
This approach - shunning broadcast - by Dodge, Jeep, and Ram allowed the brands to do several things their competitors couldn't or avoided: releasing prior to the broadcast, and making a wide variety of ads. Each brand has multiple "Big Game Blitz" ads, including those listed above, but also commercials with a wide variety of themes to appeal to multiple audiences.