The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles at Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona in the most watched event of the year, at least Stateside.
For many, however, the action on the field is secondary to the halftime spectacle, where advertisers have the opportunity to reach about 100 million people based on estimates in recent years.
Automakers ready to open their wallets to air their celebrity-endorsed ads this year include General Motors, Jeep, Ram and Kia.
Forbes has reported that a 30-second ad slot at this year’s Super Bowl set back business of US$7 million ($10 million), which may explain why fewer automakers took the opportunity this year.
The car buzz in this year’s Super Bowl commercial line-up was clearly dominated by electric vehicles, with brands in the US happy to throw their weight behind the move away from combustion vehicles thanks to the support of President Biden’s federal EV tax credit incentive.
Jeep – Jeep 4xe “Electric Boogie”
Jeep used its Super Bowl slot to show customers that the brand is serious about electrification. The one-minute ad showcases two models leading Jeep’s electric future: the Wrangler 4xe and the Grand Cherokee 4xe, both of which are plug-in hybrids.
The off-road model is shown dramatically navigating the great outdoors through deserts and forests with a cabin full of happy passengers.
Jeep hopes to make it clear to American audiences that it’s serious about an electric future that doesn’t compromise on the capabilities of its core offerings.
Ram – Premature Electrification
With heavy sarcasm, Ram is making the case for the 1500 REV, the brand’s first electric pickup that will go on sale in North America from late 2024.
Stellantis’ own Ram is not only using the big event to launch the model, but at the same time talking to their customers who may still need convincing to get on the EV train.
Rather than providing technical details about the model, Ram’s 60-second showcase showed that the brand understands the plight of hesitant EV customers and that the 1500 REV will solve ‘Premature Electrification’ concerns by eliminating range concerns.
General Motors and Netflix – Why Not EVs?
General Motors certainly went big this year, running a series of 30- to 60-second clips in partnership with Netflix.
GM and Netflix, both keen to highlight their commitment to a sustainable future, have used a coveted slot over Super Bowl weekend to show Will Ferrell parade GM’s various EVs through scenes from iconic Netflix shows, including the Squid Game, Bridgerton, and Stranger Things.
The ads include the GMC Hummer EV, GMC Sierra EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV, Chevrolet Silverado EV and Cadillac Lyriq.
The partnership won’t end at the Super Bowl, with the GM EV range set to be subtly featured in Netflix programming like Love Is Blind and Queer Eye throughout the next year.
Kia – Binky’s father
Perhaps missing the EV briefing for automakers at this year’s Super Bowl, Kia showed off its gasoline-powered Telluride X-Pro SUV.
In an ‘rugged’ family vehicle, the lightweight ad takes viewers on a journey with a dad who navigates winding mountain roads, ski slopes, construction sites and football pitches to retrieve his baby doll.
For Kia’s 14th Super Bowl ad, the brand used the Telluride X-Pro as the vehicle of choice to reinforce its reputation as a Super Bowl regular, incorporating it into an ad campaign spanning all of Kia’s social platforms prior to the game.
Volkswagen – For Grand Adventures
Volkswagen teamed up with Marvel Studios to promote the ID.4 but didn’t have the budget to harness the star power of Paul Rudd on this occasion.
Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania just released, so the superhero tie-in allowed Volkswagen to highlight the interior tech features of the electric ID.4 crossover SUV.
Perhaps the most notable car-related ad during this year’s Super Bowl was an attack aimed at the safety credentials of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving safety system.
Run by Project Dawn, and funded by the software company’s CEO Dan O’Dowd, the ad aired in select markets, including Washington DC, and several state capitals.
O’Dowd has been a vocal critic of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) system, claiming it to be “the most inefficiently designed, developed and tested automotive product on the market”, and even ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the US Senate on the platform to ban FSD from public roads.
Other notable mentions from non-car makers include a bunch of black Dodge Chargers in the official trailer for the tenth installment Fast and Furious movie, and the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 aka Mirage in the trailer for the upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.