Cox Ranks Super Bowl Car Commercials
February 06, 2018
Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler starred in “Feel Something Again,” a Super Bowl ad that generated significant website traffic for the Kia Stinger. Photo courtesy Kia Motors via YouTube
ATLANTA — For auto manufacturers, the cost of a ticket to the Super Bowl continues to rise: Sports Illustrated reports that NBC charged advertisers a cool $5 million to air a 30-second spot during this year’s contest. But car commercials — which are typically 60 seconds long — remain a cornerstone of the big game.
This year’s Super Bowl featured 11 car and truck commercials from six marques. There were six vehicle-specific spots highlighted by “Feel Something Again,” a Kia Stinger ad featuring Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and “Jeep Jurassic,” a Wrangler-themed flashback to the original “Jurassic Park.” The remaining five commercials were strictly branding efforts, including “Built to Serve,” Ram’s ill-advised Martin Luther King Jr.-themed spot.
The NFL delivered for all its advertisers with a Super Bowl for the ages. The underdog Philadelphia Eagles prevailed in a shootout, defeating the dynastic New England Patriots by a score of 41-33. The game came down to the final play, ensuring viewers remained glued to their screens for the duration of the four-plus-hour broadcast.
Analysts with Kelley Blue Book charted pageview volume in the hour after each Super Bowl car commercial aired, with Toyota claiming the top two spots:
- Toyota / ”Mobility Anthem”
- Toyota / ”Good Odds”
- Kia Stinger / “Feel Something Again”
- Jeep Wrangler / “Jeep Jurassic”
- Jeep Wrangler / “Anti-manifesto”
- Hyundai / “Hope Detector”
- Ram / “Icelandic Vikings/We Will Rock You”
- Ram / “Dr. MLK Jr./Built to Serve”
- Toyota Tundra / “One Team”
- Jeep Cherokee / “The Road”
- Lexus LS / “Long Live the King”
As has historically been the case, vehicle-specific ads drove the biggest spikes in new-car pageviews within an hour of broadcast. In fact, only one branding spot, Ram’s Viking-themed commercial, resulted in an appreciable post-airtime spike compared with the hour before it aired:
- Lexus LS / “Long Live the King” (2,500%)
- Kia Stinger / “Feel Something Again” (1,963%)
- Jeep Wrangler / “Jeep Jurassic” (424%)
- Jeep Wrangler / “Anti-manifesto” (198%)
- Toyota Tundra / “One Team” (85%)
- Jeep Cherokee / “The Road” (31%)
- Ram / “Icelandic Vikings/We Will Rock You” (26%)
Kia’s Stinger ad propelled it to the top of Kelley Blue Book's total brand pageviews after airing, with Ram bringing up the rear:
Ram did, however, make the list of brands that enjoyed an overall lift in the hour after the game compared with the hour before the game. Hyundai and Toyota did not:
- Kia (186%)
- Jeep (63%)
- Lexus (12%)
- Ram (6%)
Finally, Dealer.com analysts found that dealer websites enjoyed significant increases in total visits (157%), vehicle detail pageviews (147%) and “quality” visits (160%); the company judges a quality visit on the basis of a proprietary scoring system.