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Car Companies Flock To Air Ads on Super Bowl XLV


Muno from Nickelodeon's 'Yo Gabba Gabba'

Muno from Nickelodeon's 'Yo Gabba Gabba'

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When Super Bowl XLV is broadcast live on Fox Network from Cowboys Field in Arlington, Texas, on February 6, 2011, there’ll be a whole lot of car company commercials during the annual NFL throw-down. With an audience expected to top 100 million viewers, automakers have eagerly jumped on-board with at least 20 spots, according to MediaWeek, referencing multiple sources.

Advertising Age wonders if any car company ad can break through the clutter. And at rates that range between $2.8 million and $3 million per 30-second spot, the ads better be clever. Who can forget last year’s Kia commercial with the life-size toys tooling about in the all-new 2011 Sorento?

Who’s on tap (car companies, not Bud – yep, Anheuser-Busch is back with Bud and Bud Light) to showcase new cars for Super Bowl XLV? Here’s what it looks like so far.

Detroit’s Big Three Back in the Game

The original Big Three – Detroit automakers General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – are all back and gearing up to air commercials for Super Bowl XLV. This marks the first time in about a decade that the Big Three have all been in on the Super Bowl broadcast.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

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General Motors returns after sitting the big game out for two years. Expect to see multiple spots from Chevrolet (at least six, according to sources). Want to bet one of the car’s Chevy will focus on will be the 2011 Chevrolet Volt?

Ford, which sat on the sidelines last year, gave the thumbs-up this time around – although not during the game itself. The Dearborn automaker says it will air a pre-game spot – and, hopefully, stand out from the crowd.

And Chrysler, which, up until last year, hadn’t had a Super Bowl car spot since 2004, is also back in the game – reportedly with spots for a minimum of two brands.

Audi

Back for the fourth consecutive year, Audi of America will reportedly air its spot during the Super Bowl’s first commercial break.

BMW

In its first appearance in a decade, BMW plans to use the Super Bowl venue as a stage to showcase several new cars.

Mercedes-Benz

With 2011 marking the German automaker’s 125th anniversary, Mercedes-Benz will make its first appearance on the Super Bowl, airing one 60-second spot in the fourth quarter. The automaker has four new product launches in 2011 and the Super Bowl provides a prime audience glued to the TV – perfect for Mercedes-Benz to showcase the brand. Maybe the all-new 2012 SLK (due in early 2011) or the 2012 CLS-Class (due in summer 2011) will be among the contenders for a Super Bowl XLV spot.

Hyundai

The Korean automaker Hyundai, which aired two spots in last year’s Super Bowl, reportedly will up the ante by one, airing three commercials in Super Bowl XLV.

Kia

Although the 2010 Super Bowl was memorable for Kia’s 30-second spot for the 2011 Sorento, for Super Bowl XLV the automaker plans to air a 60-second ad. No word yet on what it might be – but it’s likely to be attention-getting.

Volkswagen

Several sources report that Volkswagen returns for the Super Bowl slugfest in 2011. For 2010, VW aired just one spot, while two are on tap for Super Bowl XLV.

Holdouts and Breakouts

Counting all the car companies that are currently in (we’ll include Ford, even though they’re pre-game), the total is nine automakers planning to participate in Super Bowl XLV. Toyota and Nissan appear to be holdouts.

As for which car company spot can prove to be a breakout hit – memorable with consumers – all we can say at Family Car Guide is that there’s bound to be a flurry of creative buzz going on between now and game time come February 6.

With the economy just beginning its upswing and car sales up, there’s certainly plenty of new product for the participating car companies to spotlight. The audience of 100 million-plus is enough to cause marketers to amp up their efforts to gain consumer recognition. Whether automaker spots can capture the hearts and minds of viewers – as opposed to, say, Doritos – remains to be seen.

Quick FCG survey: Will you be watching Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011?

[Advertising Age, MediaWeek, NFL]

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