The Complete Guide to Super Bowl 2013 Car Ads

This Sunday, American football fans will see the end of a season with the 47th annual Super Bowl, while non-fans will be more interested in the incredible number of commercials. The ads are the most expensive on television, costing an average of $3.8 million per 30-second spot. As prices continue to rise year-after-year, more companies have taken to previewing Super Bowl ads or showing long-form commercials online. Last year’s Darth Vader Volkswagen spot is generally regarded as the best car ad of last year. For whatever reason, the new trend in 2013 is the ad teaser, a 20-second preview of a full-length commercial. It’s a ridiculous concept, so none of those make an appearance on this list. Without further ado, here is the list of all known spots appearing during this year’s Super Bowl; we will update as more ads become available.

Volkswagen: Get in. Get Happy.

This is the commercial getting the biggest amount of buzz right now online, and most of it isn’t good. Cries of racism are rampant, but as Jalopnik points out, it seems only white people are up in arms about it. You can make up your own mind, but I am inclined to agree that the ad really isn’t offensive.

Mercedes-Benz: Soul

Here we have Willem Dafoe playing Satan, “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones, and Kate Upton. It’s a pretty great commercial featuring the CLA, Mercedes’ lowest-priced car, which will be available for purchase in September.

Mercedes-Benz: Kate Upton Washes CLA

Are you even reading this description? This commercial is so awesome it doesn’t even have an official title. Click the big white arrow in the middle of the video and enjoy.

Toyota: Wish Granted

There’s nothing spectacular about this ad. It has Kaley Cuoco from Big Bang Theory, and is cute/inoffensive enough for your mother to like.

Audi: Prom

Audi allowed fans to vote from a small pool of videos to select which would air during the Super Bowl. “Prom” was selected, and it’s fine, but from what I remember, the guys that didn’t get dates to the dance never got a smile from the prom queen when an impromptu makeout session occurred.

Kia: Space Babies

“Where do babies come from?” Boy, do parents sure sweat bullets when this question is asked! Time for some fresh comedy from Kia! Pretty soon the ad wizards are going to make some sort of edgy statement about the differences between men and women, look out! More exclamation points!

Hyundai: Team

Infinitely better than Kia’s “Space Babies.” These can’t be the same guys in charge of Kia’s ads, right?

Hyundai: Excited

Nope. Hyundai kills all goodwill from the last ad. You don’t sell 429hp luxury cars with annoying announcers screaming “HOT SAUCE!”

Hyundai: Stuck

Good concept, well-executed. Another cute commercial that won’t offend anyone.

Lincoln: #SteerTheScript

Decent concept, terribly executed. Another crowd-sourced commercial, but the peaceful music and soothing voice over make this quite a boring, sleepy commercial. What does that say about Lincoln’s cars?

[UPDATE: We have another batch of commercials before the Super Bowl airs]

Lincoln: Phoenix

“Marching to the beat of a different drum” is a pretty strong statement for a company that sells rebadged Fords. The entire spot is full of more hyperbolic BS than I am, and that’s saying a lot. It ends with a rhyme and Abraham Lincoln staring across the sea. I wonder if it’s possible to judge the ineffectiveness of an ad?

Hyundai: Epic Playdate

I am partial to this commercial simply for the fact that it features the Flaming Lips. At the end of it all though, the ad is generic and really any car could replace the Sante Fe and the effect would be the same.

Kia: Hotbots

A robot booth professional kicks the crap out of a guy gawking at the Kia Forte. It’s kind of lame, and most of the Super Bowl watching audience won’t really get it.


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About Cameron Rogers

Cameron Rogers is the founder and lead writer at Downshift Autos, the only automotive blog on the Internet*. Born in the back of an AMC Gremlin, Cameron vowed to never let this extraordinarily embarrassing detail define him, so help him God. He drives a GTI but absolutely will not shut up about it if somebody asks. He will not hesitate to let people know that no, they shouldn't get a Porsche 911 when a Morgan 3 Wheeler is so obviously the superior choice. He is obsessed with the seats of a Carrera GT and the steering wheel of a Fisker Karma. He once sat in the driver's seat of a Tesla Model S, his greatest accomplishment to date. He is just now realizing that writing an autobiography, however miniscule, in the third person is odd and unnerving. *As of this writing, Cameron has been informed that there are, in fact, many websites and blogs centered around cars and car culture. He regrets his grievous error.

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