It cost approximately $3.8 million for a 30 second spot on this year’s Super Bowl. As the most expensive ads on television, we expected a lot from the lineup of 2013 Super Bowl Car ads. While we will all have our favourites, according to Internet traffic analysis by Edmunds.com and AutoTrader.com, the biggest winner was Hyundai which saw an increase of 738% in web traffic at Edmunds.com for its Santa Fe model and over 1,000% increase at AutoTrader.com after their ad hit the air.
The most controversial ad would have to be Volkswagen’s ‘Get Happy’ commercial that received allegations of racism even before it was aired during the big game Sunday. Even Tim Mahoney, chief VW marketing officer was a bit worried about the ad’s potential for offense:
“You take some risks in that, right? You start with a white guy and the Jamaican accent… I have to say that I love it, but my first take at the beginning was like ‘hmm’ what’s with the Jamaican accent.”
Interestingly, at least according to immediate responses on Twitter, it appears white liberal Americans were more likely to describe the ad as racist than Jamaicans – many who called for everyone to “lighten up.”
We invite you to judge for yourself. Without further ado, here are some of the most creative 2013 Super Bowl Car Ads (note that some were leaked before the Sunday show):
Volkswagen ‘Get In. Get Happy’ – Controversial Pick for Super Bowl 2013
This commercial for the new VW Beetle has stirred the waters; some hate it, some love it, some think it should be banned. It is one of two VW commercials featuring music by Jamaican artist Jimmy Cliff.
Volkswagen ‘Sunny Side’ – Most emotional (pre-game) Super bowl car commercial?
What happens when you bring together the angriest, saddest YouTube stars and have them listen to reggae legend Jimmy Cliff for some feel-good vibrations? While this video didn’t make it onto the Superbowl commercial lineup, it was still an interesting concept:
Fiat 500 Abarth Commercial – Sexiest Superbowl Car Commercial for 2013?
Featuring super-model Catrinel Menghia, this ad focuses on the “topless” theme of the new Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio. One thing’s for sure, Fiat has figured out that age-old mantra of car marketing: sex sells cars. We won’t get into the touchy subject of the objectification of women – I’ll let that argument continue to rage out-of-control in YouTube’s comments section.
Kia “Space Babies” – Cutest Superbowl Car Commercial of 2013?
“Where do babies come from”? They come in spaceships, of course! This commercial shows how the Kia Sorento helps you creatively answer your kid’s tough questions.
Toyota RAV 4 ‘Wish Granted’
This commercial features Kaley Cuoco from CBS’s “Big Bang Theory” as a RAV4 “genie.” When she tells a family she can grant them any wish they want, some do better than others.
Volkswagen Jetta ‘Bad Dog, Good Volkswagen’
This ad demonstrates the various uses of Jetta’s keyless entry technology. Only, we’re left wondering, why does the dog need to go to the vet?
According to Hyundai, being in front is better – and this commercial shows you why. It’s a clever justification for the extra power available in the turbocharged model.
Need some courage? When you get to borrow Dad’s new S6 to go to Prom, you’ll be in an adventurous mood to say the least.
A kid stands up to the bully when he pulls together a team of extraordinary kids. They just happen to be transported in the 7-passenger Santa-Fe crossover SUV.
Who ever thought a Lincoln could look so good? This straight-forward ad introduces the all-new Lincoln MKZ. According to scores from Autometrics, this ad generated the highest increase in prospects for an individual model based on individuals contacting a dealer within 20 minutes of the ad airing.
This commercial for the Kia Forte shows why you should have some respect for technology, or it just might give you a wedgie. The ad itself is more than a little quirky.
Ram Trucks ‘Farmer’
Chrysler shows off their new line up pickups with an inspiring message about farmers from none other than Paul Harvey. The commercial generated some controversy, given the general references to God and scripture being used in a car commercial.
A surprising list stars including Kate Upton, Usher and Willem Dafoe show up in this Mercedes commercial showcasing the new CLA-Class. Thankfully you don’t have to actually sell your soul in order to get it.
Jeep ‘America Will Be Whole Again’
This appeal deep into the hearts of Americans features narration from Oprah Winfrey and has a sense of patriotism that is definitely designed to tug on the heartstrings.
Hyundai ‘Epic Playdate’
This ad depicts an outrageous family outing in the new 2013 Santa Fe SUV. I was disappointed with the placement of “Do not attempt” in the fine print (I always wanted to roll inside a giant inflatable ball – but Hyundai says I can’t!).
Hyundai Canada ‘Gaspocalypse’
Set to heavy metal music and shot in a great post-apocalyptic desert setting, this could be a scene straight out of Mad Max. Except Mad Max would probably drive something more bad-ass than a Hyundai Sonata hybrid.
Lincoln ‘One Upon a Tweet’
This ad may be the first real failure so far. Lincoln just tries to do too much in 30 seconds, ending up with a jumbled storyline that ranges from Germans to aliens to a sudden marriage. Someone tell me what’s going on!
Hyundai ‘Don’t Tell’
Would you believe that parents can still be cool? Apparently they can be if they’re driving a Hyundai – these parents get their kids into all sorts of adventures.
Fiat – ‘Sisters’
This ad shows why the Fiat 500L is very “family friendly.”
This commercial takes the Fiat 500L through a country jaunt with a twist of an ending.
While the car is impressive, the commercial itself comes up short with an frenetic announcer that is more than a little annoying when he gets ‘excited’. Fortunately Hyundai’s other commercials can more than make up for one dud.
Kate Upton Washes the CLA
One of the commercials ‘leaked’ as a teaser for the actual Superbowl ad, that’s exactly what this video is (a teaser). Its misleading title may have a number of male (and possibly some female) fans more than a little disappointed when they see the actual video. Still, it is Kate Upton.
With a similar 50s style as used in their other ads, this one demonstrates how you can make use of the roomy back seat of the Fiat 500L.
Written by Michael Fisher
Digital Content Strategist
With a passion for everything automotive and an interest in online media & blogging, Michael Fisher has applied his love for the written word with a rewarding job researching and writing about cars. When he isn't fixing punctuation or tinkering with an obstinate sentence, Michael enjoys photography, art and backyard mechanics.