Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Car Companies Gear Up for the Super Bowl Ad Blitz


If you are like most people who love the ads on Super Bowl Sunday as much as you enjoy watching the game (OK, some years you like them more than the game), then the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl are as much fun as the big day itself.

That’s because we’re in the window where automakers leak either snippets or the entire Super Bowl ad in advance.

For the automakers building “buzz” has become a big part of the strategy.

Hey it makes sense.

Last year Volkswagen garnered tons of attention in advance of the Super Bowl with its Star Wars themed commercial called More than 14 million people saw it online before it ever aired on Super Bowl Sunday.

This year, VW is back with follow-up called “The Bark Side.” VW is calling this a commercial teaser. In other words, we’ll see the real VW ad at some point. Already, “The Bark Side” has been viewed by more than 3 million people.

So far, the one pre-released spot that stands out to me is from GM. It’s called “Chevy Happy Grad” and in my opinion it does everything you want a Super Bowl ad to do.

It’s not just Chevy paying to play on Super Bowl Sunday. Honda, Acura, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus and Toyota are also planning to run ads.

As for Chrysler, last year it did not release a teaser commercial on the web, but it stole the show on Super Bowl Sunday with featuring Eminem. Not only was the ad fantastic, but it generated an incredible response because it was a well-kept secret until it ran during the Super Bowl.

Chrysler has bought time for this year’s Super Bowl. What spot runs remains a mystery. At this year’s Detroit Auto Show, CEO Sergio Marchionne told me he thinks it’s impossible to duplicate the reaction that was generated by “Imported from Detroit.”

Chrysler and all the automakers will once again be shooting to turn heads, but the winner will be decided by you,….the viewer.


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