Friday, February 12, 2016

What We Can Learn From Our Favorite Super Bowl Auto Ads

The Super Bowl is always a big time of year for the automotive industry. With millions of viewers tuned in (many of whom watch the commercials as intently as the actual game) it’s a valuable opportunity for companies to show off their brands and their newest vehicles.

Super Bowl 50 logo
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Nissan was one of the big winners after last year’s Super Bowl XLIX. Its emotional “With Dad” spot, which unveiled the company’s new racecar and its new Maxima sedan, was named the Favorite Super Bowl Commercial of 2015 by voters. So which automotive companies had a successful Super Bowl Sunday this year? Here are some of our favorites and what we can learn from them.

Toyota Prius — Getaway Car?

The Toyota Prius might not strike many as being an ideal getaway car, but that’s exactly the kind of thinking Toyota was trying to change with its tongue-in-cheek spot called “The Longest Chase.” After their original getaway car is towed, bank robbers avoid the cops and skip town in a hijacked Prius, earning the admiration of the public along the way.

Toyota’s commercial is bold in that it encourages the audience to view the Prius as something other than a slow, generic hybrid. Getting consumers to completely rethink your product is tricky but can be very profitable. If things are getting a little stale around your dealership, try changing up your image to get consumers to think of you in a different light.

Audi’s Zest for Life

We’ve never been in space, but we can picture how being earthbound after going into orbit could be a bit of a bummer. That’s how the man in Audi’s “Commander” felt before his son showed up with the new R8 sports car. The retired astronaut seems rejuvenated at the mere sight of it, and the sound of the high-revving engine makes the audience feel the thrill. Using David Bowie’s “Starman” made the spot a touching tribute as well.

Audi tugged at some emotional heartstrings with this one. There’s nothing wrong with using basic cars for day-to-day use, but who wouldn’t want to slip into that R8 and let the engine wail after seeing this commercial? When you have a car that hits the fun and luxury buttons more than an everyday car, be sure you’re playing up those angles. Give your customers a reason to believe that kind of car would make life more fun.

Honda Has a New Truck to Love

Honda is looking for people to love its new Ridgeline pickup truck. After giving us a chorus of sheep singing Queen’s hit “Somebody to Love,” we’re definitely interested. In addition to immediately capturing our attention, Honda succeeded in subtly featuring what makes the product unique. Of course a pickup truck can work well in a ranch setting — but speakers in the bed so you can jam out with your livestock? That's one feature that would definitely help the day go by faster.

While Honda didn’t completely focus on the new feature, the singing sheep got our attention and made the truck memorable. When you introduce a new car, or an existing model is updated with a new feature, don’t stick with the same old advertising gimmicks hoping people will notice. Have fun with it! Honda did, and it made us want bed-mounted speakers.

What was your favorite car commercial from the Super Bowl? Let us know in the comments.