Super Bowl Sunday is nearly upon us! For 10% of the population, that means an incredible display of athletic prowess and pure competition will be on display, but for the other 90% it means something much more important: commercials. Super Bowl commercials are the Rolls Royce of advertisement . . . and speaking of Rolls Royce, we’re primarily interested in the car ads. Thankfully, most of the automotive commercials are already up online (or at least their teasers are), so here’s a primer for the car ads coming to your screen to keep you even more entertained than Denver and Seattle will:
Audi hit the Super Bowl jackpot with this ad, as the A3 commercial is everything a good Super Bowl ad has: it’s funny, bizarre, and you can’t take your eyes off of it. The commercial follows the terrors after a couple compromises by mixing a Chihuahua with a Doberman, creating a horrible “Doberhuahua” with a huge head and tiny body. Even Sarah McLachlan makes an appearance to poke fun at her animal rights PSA, only to be attacked by a Doberhuahua. The point, of course? Never compromise.
It wasn’t entirely clear where the Silverado ad was initially going. It kind of seemed like a traditional truck ad: good ol’ cowboy with his truck, on the farm, herding cattle. Then, as the narration begins to lead it in a romantic direction, the cow exits the trailer while doing its best Giselle Bundchen impression, to the tune of “I Believe in Miracles.” Hilarious.
Nothing too special with this one, but it’s amusing. A guy in an Elantra pulls up next to a pretty woman in an Elantra, and compliments her car, but she’s not having it. He proceeds to compliment her out the window as they drive, only to have her throw back rhyming one-liners that make his day hell. Better luck next time, bud.
Hyundai does a good job blending humor with tugging at the heartstrings in this commercial, which is a common theme for them. The commercial is a montage of father saving his son from accidents . . . riding his bike into a parked car, running into a BBQ while playing catch, etc., up until he hopelessly watches from the front seat as his 16-year old looks away from the road at a smiling girl, only to have the Genesis save the day for them both. A clever and sentimental way to highlight Hyundai’s added safety features.
This might be my favorite one of the bunch. “Rendezvous” portrays a typical action movie suspense scene, starring three world-renowned British actors who mention how the bad guys in movies are always British. They then mention how admirable the traits of these characters are – precision, a love of power, and always behind the wheel of the Jaguar. The ending line? It’s good to be bad. The ad is as clever and captivating as the James Bond movies that it evokes.
Kia leaned on a tried and true formula for this commercial: bring in lovable and known characters. For the K900, they went an interesting – and successful – route by choosing Morpheus from The Matrix. It starts at a valet scene, where Morpheus offers a couple the blue key or the red key: the luxury they already known, or a whole new level. Choosing the obvious choice, they are then shown a world of pure luxury, climaxing with Morpheus belting an opera from the backseat.
This just might be the funniest one of the bunch. Famous hilarious tough guy Terry Crews (of Old Spice and Brooklyn Nine-Nine fame) is going for a ride when he spots a broken down bus. He offers a lift, and watches his vehicle get taken over by a crew of muppets. What ensues is a hilarious joyride of eccentricity, singing, and dancing. Well done, Toyota. Much better than Coach T.
The king of hilarious and witty car commercials always breaks it out for the Super Bowl, and that’s no exception this year. After reaching 100,000 miles, a father jokingly tells his unimpressed daughter, “what if I told you that every time a Volkswagen hits 100,000 miles, a German engineer gets his wings?” What follows is a predictable montage of a VW factory where engineers are sprouting wings left and right. It’s a fun, but not incredibly noteworthy ad, until the end comes, where the daughter predicts what happens at 200,000 miles. And VW has done it again.
Chevy managed to tug at the heartstrings without being overly sentimental. The simple commercial depicts a young couple on an open road, with the short-haired woman staring out the window before tightly gripping hands with her male partner. No words, just touching music, before the screen reminds us that February 4th is World Cancer Day, and that Chevy will be supporting both those in recovery, and those offering support for their loved ones. It’s a touching commercial, especially when you learn that the male in the commercial actually is a cancer survivor, and the female lost her mother to lung cancer.
Patriotism at it’s very finest! Chrysler didn’t go cutesy, funny, or even sentimental with this one. This one is just a stunning montage of American icons, from Route 66 to Marilyn Monroe, to leather jackets. All the while, Bob Dylan lectures us on the beauty of America, and the importance of the car and American pride, ending with the chilling line, “Let Germany brew your beer; let Switzerland make your watch; let Asia assemble your phone – we will build your car.”
Jeep stuck to its roots: “restless” is about the most typical Jeep commercial that you’ll ever find. It’s a montage of everything from campers to skimboarders to skaters, with a voice narration reminding us that “stillness is what actually kills us.” A simple ad, but oh so very Jeep.
The most shocking part of this commercial was simply Maserati advertising at the Super Bowl. There was nothing particularly noteworthy about the ad, but it was effective, largely because it stars Quvenzhane Wallis, the young Oscar-nominated actress with the captivating voice. It’s a short story about the obstacles that we all face in life, with the crescendo as we all learn to overcome, to do what we intended to do, and to strike. Not surprising given that it’s Maserati, it’s a stunningly gorgeous commercial.
Smart wins the award for most pertinent car commercial; this one actually proves a fantastic point, and it manages to do so in hilarious style. The commercial is simply a Smart electric car attempting – and failing miserably – to offroad, while head-banging metal music blares. The scene then shifts to an SUV in city traffic, bypassing a small parking spot, reminding us that a Smart car on boulders and dirt trails is as nonsensical as a gas-guzzling SUV in the city. Brilliant.
The Need for Speed movie is finally headed our way, and the perfect commercial highlighted that on Super Bowl Sunday. People who love Need for Speed want the cars, not the people, and the trailer played to that….a quick-hit montage of various vehicles accelerating, drifting, flying, shifting, etc. It’s all cars, and only cars, with the only dialogue coming at the end: “Got anything faster?”
Ford scored a touchdown with this pre-game commercial, a hilarious and innovative spot. The concept of the commercial is to promote the new Fusion Hybrid, which gets nearly double the gas mileage of the average vehicle. And to tell you that is famous funny man Rob Riggle, who announces himself, saying “Hi, I’m Rob Riggle” and goes on to tell you how Ford is making history by following up this commercial with one twice as long, and twice as awesome, to celebrate this double mileage. When the 30-second spot ends, it is followed up by a 60-second spot starring James Franco, who repeats the entire commercial – complete with “Hi, I’m Rob Riggle” – only Franco does indeed have double the awesome, complete with tigers, fireworks, and mansions. A brilliant advertising twist.
Photo Credit: Kia