We all know that the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers are going to battle for Super Bowl supremacy on Sunday night, but advertisers have already been battling for "likes" and YouTube views for weeks now. Here's a rundown of (almost) all of the automotive ads you'll see during the big game:
Audi's "Prom" video--which features a quiet high schooler who gets a boost of confidence from his dad's S6--was a hit with YouTube viewers: it's already at 4.4 million views in eight days. And why wouldn't people love this ad? It's a David and Goliath story with a likable protagonist and a 420-horse, all-wheel drive Audi playing sidekick.
Nobody really knows where BMW is headed with its Super Bowl ad. All we know so far is that the ad will feature two 6 Series cars, one with xDrive all-wheel drive. And we gleaned that much info from BMW's 23-second teaser posted earlier today.
How Hyundai isn't broke after buying this much Super Bowl ad time is beyond us--the automaker will talk to us during the big game for a total of three minutes at a cost somewhere north of $20 million. That $20 million bought Hyundai the chance to shill the Sonata Turbo by reminding us all the terrible things we could be stuck driving behind, some time to hawk the Genesis R-Spec with help from Gus Johnson, and three chances to show us the new Santa Fe. That includes "Don't Tell," which shows all the mischevious things your parents can do with one; "Team," which shows how the Santa Fe can help good triumph over evil; and "Epic PlayDate," which imagines what the best day ever would look like...if that day included a Hyundai Santa Fe and The Flaming Lips.
Kia has two ads, and both of them are a little bit perplexing. The first one features an auto show-goer doing what most show-goers do--getting the car dirty--and then being punished by a female robot booth professional. Kia calls them "Hotbots," although you might prefer to call them "fembots," after the Austin Powers characters. The second ad is "Babylandia," the ad where a dad driving a 2014 Sorento describes where babies come from using fantastical imagery and lots (LOTS) of innuendo. To be honest Kia lost us at the phrase "penetrate the atmosphere."
Lincoln's 60 seconds of advertising time will be split into two very different spots. The first is the long-awaited "Steer the Script" commercial, with a story line culled from thousands of tweets by Jimmy Fallon fans. The second is a more typical Lincoln ad, with plenty of talk about how the brand values individuality and creativity...and a shot of a '90s Town Car on fire.
Mercedes-Benz has only one ad, and it's quickly become one of our favorites. It's a simple premise: a man watches some workers putting up a billboard for the 2014 CLA, and then turns back to find the devil (played by Willem Dafoe) offering him the car, fame, and fortune, all for signing over the rights to his soul. Fame and fortune, by the way, are played by Kate Upton and Usher.
Is it possible to make a bad advertisement that features Kaley Cuoco of "The Big Bang Theory" and the music of Skee-Lo? We hope not. Ms. Cuoco (rocking the purple-on-purple look) is the Toyota RAV4 wish genie, here to serve all sorts of strange requests. She will make you work for it, though.
Does anyone else remember the greatness that was "Cool Runnings?" You know, "feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme," so on and so forth? Well, take the Jamaican vibe from that movie, update it a few years, and replace all of the bobsleds with a Volkswagen Beetle Turbo. We see pride, we see power...we see some white guy in middle management doing his best Sanka impersonation. It's worth a smirk if nothing else.
As a bonus, Volkswagen released a video in which it brought all sorts of YouTube stars famous for being angry or sad on camera...and made them "get happy." Again...worth a smirk if nothing else.
Chrysler is notable in that it's not on this list. The company that brought us the greatness of "Imported from Detroit" and "Halftime in America" is going for a hat-trick this year, but we haven't seen a single frame yet. Just like in years' past, Chrysler is keeping its cards very close to its chest. That, or the company is scrambling to finish the ad: its 2012 ad was reportedly planned, shot, and finalized in just three weeks.
As for General Motors, the company announced that it won't pay the roughly $3.8 million/30 seconds for an advertisement. Too bad: last year's Barry Manilow-swooning "2012" ad was pretty funny.
Bonus: Subaru Does the Puppy Bowl
We know that the Puppy Bowl is far cry from the actual Super Bowl, but we can't skip the opportunity to show dog videos. So enjoy some clips of dogs buying cars: