The 2015 Super Bowl, which saw the New England Patriots defeat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24, was the most watched event in American TV history, recording a staggering 114.4 million viewers. This number doesn’t even take into account the masses huddled around TV screens in sports bars or everyone you hosted at your place, who were elbow deep in your famous Super Bowl beef chili.
There are basically 3 reasons why that many pairs of eyes we’re glued to their television screens last year and why there will probably be even more tuned in this Sunday. The first is the game, the second is the always spectacular halftime show and lastly, of course, are the commercials.
The cost for a 30-second ad last year? A cool $4.5 million. Chump change, right? Well CBS, the broadcasters for this year’s 50th annual Super Bowl said that this time around, they’ll be charging $5 million. That’s an 11% increase from last year’s price tag, according to ESPN.
It appears however that marketers are more than willing to pay. In 2012, BIGinsightTM asked consumers about Super Bowl commercials. 8.4% stated that the commercials influenced him/her to buy products from the advertisers. 8.4% of $114.4 million… The quick math on that says the hefty price tag is more than worth it.
When you’re talking about the automotive industry, the Super Bowl is the perfect opportunity to unveil your latest and greatest vehicles to an audience of epic proportions. Perhaps this Sunday the biggest face off you’ll see won’t be a dozen, giant beef cakes dog piling on a grassy field somewhere in San Francisco. It’ll be between the giants of the automotive industry, all battling it out for your attention. After previewing a few, I’ve come up with a couple favorites in this year’s Super Bowl ad race.
The Redesigned Kia 2016 Optima
Kia’s ad features their all-new 2016 Optima, a midsize sedan the brand’s currently trying to elevate in a vehicle segment that is commonly recognized as boring. The commercial features actor Christopher Walken sitting in an unsuspecting man’s closet with a set of socks on his hands.
One sock is beige while the other is much more colorful. He warns against the dangers of living like a boring, beige sock, when you can instead live like the more “exciting” colorful sock. He then introduces the new Optima and asks him to “try it on for size.”
The minute long commercial, titled “Walken Closet” will be at the forefront of a digital campaign by Kia, all in the attempt to show the world that the newly redesigned Optima brings “pizzazz” to the lives of its owners.
The Audi R8 V10 Plus
Audi’s ad for their new 2017 R8 V10 Plus is timely to say the least. The recent passing of David Bowie, who died just last month at the age of 69, has put both his music and legacy at the forefront of conversation.
The commercial features Bowie’s classic 1972 hit “Starman,” which was also recently feature in Matt Damon’s new film, The Martian.
The commercial centers on a retired Astronaut who’s seen sitting in a chair, reflecting sadly on the glory of his former profession. When his son enters the room and offers him the keys to the 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus, he rediscovers not only his passion for life but in essence, his love for powerful machinery. Audi’s parallel between a rocket ship and what they say is their fastest and most powerful vehicle yet, is clear.
And hell, who doesn’t love Starman?
The Honda Ridgeline
This 60-second spot from Honda is titled A New Truck to Love.
The concept is simple. It shows a rancher returning several sheep to its herd, who are grazing in a field. The Ridgeline pulls away, signaling a rousing chorus of Queen’s classic Somebody to Love. The tune is led by a harmonious and adorable front sheep, clearly the main singer in the baaaahhhhnd (that’s right, I made the joke). The hopes is that when the song inevitable sticks in your head, so too will the ad.
The Hyundai Elantra with Blue Link
Last on the docket is Hyundai’s all-new Elantra. It’s equipped with Blue Link, which allows you to remotely start your car with a simple voice command to your smartwatch.
The commercial shows a young couple running away from two attacking bears. The man quickly yells into his watch “start my car.” They two then hop in their Elantra and speed away. You’re left with a cute and comical conversation between the bears, one of which claims to be a vegan and would have just eaten around the pair anyways. You’ll laugh because, well…. vegans.
Acura, Buick, Mini and Toyota will also be joining the ad race this Sunday. In the end, some of us will watch for the football or the halftime show (this year promises to be another spectacle with Coldplay and Beyonce teaming up). I can guarantee a lot of us though, including me, will watch for the commercials. These were my 4 favorites, but you be the judge. It’s all scheduled to go down this Sunday at 4PM.