2011 Hyundai SonataEnlarge Photo
The New Orleans Saints weren't the only winners to emerge from Sunday night's Super Bowl (which, by the way, was the most-watched TV show in U.S. history). Automakers like Hyundai also walked away victorious, with varying jumps in web traffic thanks to Super Bowl ads.
The 2011 Hyundai Sonata ended the night at the top of the heap. Compared with average Sunday traffic, that model saw a 267% jump in views here on TCC, and a 594% increase on Edmunds.com. The spike in interest is likely due to that fact that (a) Hyundai placed six 30-second spots during the game and pre-game broadcast -- far more than any other automaker -- and (b) Hyundai purchased naming rights to the popular Super Bowl "Pre-Kick Show". It also didn't hurt that the Hyundai Sonata commercial featuring Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was one of the best-received by the public and critics. The Hyundai Tucson and Hyundai Genesis also saw spikes in interest, with traffic up 123% percent and 72%, respectively, on Edmunds.
Audi's results weren't quite so clear-cut. The company only bought one ad during the broadcast, but that ad was 60-seconds long, and it ran in the fourth quarter of the game. Interest in the subject of that spot -- the 2010 Audi A3 TDI -- remained flat here at TCC, but increased 165% at Edmunds. Traffic on both sites might've been higher had the "Green Police" ad, which was built by Venables Bell out of San Francisco, been more compelling. However, the spot did have a slight spillover effect, generating lesser traffic bumps for the Audi A8 and Q5 at Edmunds.
Here at TCC, the Dodge Charger saw a spike of 303% in conjunction with Chrysler's "Man's Last Stand" commercial. However, that figure is a little misleading: even with the jump in interest, the Charger's total traffic was about 1/10th that of the Hyundai Sonata, so we're not prone to call the Charger a huge winner. At Edmunds, the increase was significantly smaller: just 26%
Of course, whether that web traffic will result in higher sales for any of these models remains to be seen, but at the very least it provides a metric for interest and for gauging the success of Super Bowl ads. If you'd like to relive the joy (and often, pain) of these and other commercials, check Nelson Ireson's Guide To Super Bowl XLIV Ads.