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Super Bowl Ad Game: Audi Roars, Hyundai Stalls


Yes, the game was incredible. So good, you could argue that, for once, the Super Bowl commercials took a back seat to the game.

But for two automakers, Audi and Hyundai, the big game was big chance to show off two big models.

Audi's spot for the new R8 ran early in game and played off the famous scene in "The Godfather" where a movie mogul wakes up in bed mortified to find the bloody head of one of his beloved horses under to covers. In the Audi ad, the mogul wakes to find an oil-slick grill and engine in his bed. We then see the R8 in front of the mogul's mansion and the message is clear: "All other cars have been warned."

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I loved the spot. Original, well done, and most telling for me, it got people at the party I attended talking. In my opinion, Audi scored.

By comparison, Hyundai's two commercials for its new Genesis sedan fell incomplete. I wouldn't call them a fumble, but they failed to inspire me.

The spots featured extended shots of the Genesis and numerous refences to the style and performance it will deliver.

Nice, but not memorable. And considering the cost of running two spots in the Super Bowl -- more than $5 million -- I don't think Hyundai got it's money's worth.

It's rare that Super Bowl ads jump out. After all, Toyota went big time to introduce its re-designed Tundra pick-up last year and I didn't notice those spots generating big buzz. I know Audi and Hyundai will both claim running the spots will pay off, but for my only Audi can say it scored a touchdown.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com


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