Last night’s Super Bowl may not have been the most impressive display of football ever, but as New England Patriots QB Tom Brady sought his sixth ring, automakers sought those less interested in Brady’s quest and more compelled by the commercials between drives.
While the automakers may or may not have lived up to expectations, it’s a commercial unseen by most viewers that may have had the biggest impact.
According to Edmunds.com, joining Brady and the Patriots on the winners podium last night were Audi and Toyota. Edmunds analysts tracked traffic to brand and model pages on both its desktop and mobile sites during the game to see which automotive ads were most successful in driving immediate shopper interest.
To determine how well a particular automaker’s ad performed, they compare percentage lifts to average Sunday traffic levels on Edmunds. Audi’s “Cashew” ad and Toyota’s “Wizard” ad generated the biggest movements.
Audi’s “Cashew” ad promoting the e-tron line-up, noting the company would have its entire product portfolio electrified by 2025, was the most successful ad of the night, boosting traffic to the e-tron GT by 13,578%, and helping Audi enjoy the most traffic growth of any advertised brand, up 116%.
(Audi taps the Iron Man to reveal new e-tron. Click Here for the story.)
Toyota’s “Wizard” ad, which feature the Supra racing around as the pinball in a giant pinball machine, was also a big success, with traffic to Supra pages also up more than 13,000%.
“Even as automakers explore new ways to use the buzz around the big game to grab the attention of car shoppers, our data continues to prove that the traditional broadcast spots still have a place,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis.
“A commercial that both entertains and shows a car people have never seen before tends to be the winning formula to entice people to go online immediately to learn more. Even though base size does play a role when looking at website traffic lifts like this, the fact that Audi and Toyota were so successful in getting immediate interest shows that they’re clearly doing something right.”
Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Kia also enjoyed strong reactions to their commercials about the new Palisade, A-Class and Telluride, respectively. Hyundai had the second highest lift at the brand level, up 50%, while Mercedes enjoyed a 38% lift as a brand and a more than 1,600% lift for the A-Class. Shopper traffic to the Kia Telluride was up nearly 2,000%.
(Click Here for more about the long-awaited return of the Toyota Supra.)
However, that ad that may have provided the biggest spark, is the one that most Americans never saw. Unifor, formerly the Canadian Auto Workers union, put out a commercial that aired only Canada – although it could be seen in some areas bordering Canada – and may have General Motors considering a lawsuit.
GM sent the union a cease-and-desist letter last Friday, ordering Unifor not to run the ad about GM closing its plant in Oshawa, Ontario. Unifor said it would not comply. The commercial, called “GM leaves Canadians Out In the Cold,” is on YouTube, Unifor’s Facebook page and was scheduled to air throughout Canada during the Super Bowl. The spot claims Canadians have been loyal to GM and now the company has “forgotten our generosity.”
It further calls the company greedy, reminding viewers that Canada provided GM with $10.8 billion during GM’s bankruptcy, noting that is $300 from “every Canadian citizen.” The letter, addressed to Unifor President Jerry Dias and copied to Canadian media companies from Gowling WLG, a Toronto law firm, tells Dias, “You know this is untrue,” taking issue with the union’s assertion of “greed” by GM.
The company reminds Dias that the company repaid “both the principal loan and all interest due” in “cash and equity shares in the new GM, which shares were obtained at fair value. The Canadian Government later decided, on its own volition, to sell its shares in GM many years ago on that same open market.”
(To see more about Unifor’s boycott ad about General Motors, Click Here.)
“While GM respects Unifor’s rights to protest, we cannot condone purposely misleading the Canadian public,” GM spokesman Pat Morrissey told the Detroit Free Press. Since 2009, GM Canada has contributed more than $100 billion to the Canadian economy including $8 billion invested into worker pensions, Morrissey added.