The television network hosting the Super Bowl wants an exciting close game to draw viewers to drive up advertising rates, and the automakers that ran ads in this year’s big game want that to sales of whatever vehicle is featured in the commercial.
Automakers not only spend big money for the time – $5.3 million for a 60-second ad – they also put a lot of money and creative energy into their ads in hopes of getting more buyers. Determining who bought a vehicle due to a Super Bowl ad is difficult, however, which brands generated interest is much easier, according to Edmunds.com.
The website’s 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. Percentage lifts are compared to average Sunday traffic levels on Edmunds, and there was a clear winner for the night.
Kia’s “Tough Never Quits” ad promoting the Seltos proved to be the most successful ad of the night for a specific vehicle, driving traffic up by 147,969% to its pages on Edmunds during the game. The commercial featured Oakland Raiders (soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders) rookie running back Josh Jacobs driving the new small SUV and talking about the advice he would give himself a child when he was homeless and struggling.
“Ads featuring new, attractive vehicles or lesser-known brands generally tend to pique the most curiosity from car shoppers during the big game, and this year is no different,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds.
“It’s encouraging to see more automaker commercials during the big game this year than we have in years past: the fact that there are so many exciting and innovative new products hitting the market is a great sign of what’s to come for the industry in 2020 and beyond.”
Porsche’s “The Chase,”which promoted the new all-electric Taycan, drove traffic up by 40,830% during the game, and traffic to the Audi e-tron was up by 24,122% thanks to the automaker’s “Let it Go” advertisement.
When it came to brands, Genesis garnered the most interest, with traffic up by 182,343% during the game as a result of its “Going Away Party” advertisement featuring singer John Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, who is a model. GMC came in a distant second, generating a 9,408% lift in traffic during the game thanks to the automaker’s “First Ever GMC Hummer EV” advertisement.
However, the ads that perhaps were the most amusing and had the biggest celebrities didn’t fare as well. Edmunds data shows that the Jeep Gladiator and Hyundai Sonata also saw significant lifts in traffic on Edmunds as a result of Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” and Hyundai’s “Smaht Pahk” advertisements during the game, generating a 9,467% and a 6,982% lift, respectively.
“The Gladiator and Sonata have both been on the market, so while they didn’t generate quite the same interest as newer models, the fact that they still drove pretty decent spikes in traffic on Edmunds are a testament to the humor and creativity of the advertisements,” said Caldwell. “In the case of the Sonata, Hyundai made a particularly smart move in highlighting a lesser-known, flashy autonomous feature like Smart Park to grab shoppers’ attention.”