Over 100 million people tune into the Super Bowl each year, and a decent portion show up just for the commercials. Why is the Super Bowl the only night of the year when viewers actually want to see advertising? When a 30 second slot costs millions of dollars, it better be catchy. We’ve gathered every automaker Super Bowl commercial and tallied up how much money automakers spent on the big game. Prepare to be shocked.
How Much Does a Super Bowl Commercial Cost in 2022?
This year, it was NBC’s turn to host the game. In September, NBC executive Dan Lovinger said that a typical 30 second commercial costs $6.5 million in 2022. A recent press release from NBC shows that several 30 second advertising slots sold for $7 million. Calling this a record doesn’t even begin to describe just how much prices for Super Bowl ads have skyrocketed. Prices had stagnated over the past few years, with half-minute slots ‘only’ going for $5.5 million in 2021. I guess inflation is hitting NBC too…
Which Automakers Had Commercials in the Super Bowl?
Multi-million dollar price tags didn’t stop six automakers and two online car sellers from shelling out cash. Here is every Super Bowl car commercial from Super Bowl 56.
The German luxury brand is so serious about it’s all-new iX electric SUV that not only did they pay at least $13 million for their 60 second commercial, they hired Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek to do it. The pair play Greek gods wandering through a lavish California lifestyle where electricity seems to be everything.
General Motors (Chevrolet and GM)
What do you do when you’ve committed to spending $35 billion on electric vehicle development? You spend $32 million more to advertise them at the Super Bowl! General Motors ran two different commercials, one minute-long ad solely for the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV, and another Austin Powers rendition touting the Ultium electric platform that powers their electric future. They went all-out for this one, showing off the Silverado EV, Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq, Cadillac concept all in a 1:30 commercial. Oh yeah, it looks like GM snuck in a first peek at a new GMC Hummer SUV tucked behind the Hummer truck.
The Sopranos Reimagined
Austin Powers Goes Electric
Kia not only showed off the new and highly-acclaimed EV6 electric crossover, they also introduced viewers to the idea of bidirectional charging. In Kia’s one-minute Super Bowl commercial that set them back at least $13 million, a robo dog chases down the EV6, but the battery runs out right at the last moment. Here to save the day is the driver of the EV6, who charges up the robo dog using the EV6’s bidirectional charging capability.
In a full-minute spot, Nissan highlighted the performance and styling of the revived Nissan Z. Nissan’s commercial stars Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Danai Gurira, Dave Bautista and Nissan Brand Ambassador Brie Larson. The 2023 Nissan Ariya sneaks in for a glimpse or two for a healthy dose of electric vehicles. For a commercial like this, Nissan would have paid at least $13 million. That’s not including paychecks for all of those actors.
No voice overs, no punchlines, no Dieselgate, no conquering Mars. That’s how Polestar pitched the all-electric Polestar 2. There was no disguising the punches thrown at Tesla, Volkswagen Group, GM and just about everyone else in the industry. They sure did cram a lot of controversy into thirty seconds. At least their production costs must be low for this one, considering that NBC charged them at least $6.5 million for the spot.
The only combustion-only automaker Super Bowl ad in 2022 was from Toyota. The minute-long commercial was a wholehearted promotion for the newly redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra. It’s a play on ‘keeping up with the Jones’’, and stars Tommy Lee Jones, Leslie Jones, Rashida Jones and a few seconds of Joe Jonas for an odd twist.
Toyota, long a top sponsor of the Paralympics, also had a 1:30 commercial about the perseverance of brothers who never gave up.
For Toyota’s two and a half minutes of air time, they likely wrote NBC a check for around $32.5 million, unless they were cut a deal for the good cause they promoted in the longer one.
Vroom and Carvana
The two online car buying giants made their pitch to football fans for two different reasons. Vroom, in a 30 second clip, did their best to appeal to those selling their cars in a musical-themed ad. Vroom must be in serious need of some inventory if they spent $6.5 million to attract sellers rather than buyers.
Carvana spoke to the masses through the voice of… an annoying mom? The 30 second slot featured a mom oversharing her joyous experience buying from Carvana. The final moments featured what appeared to be a 2022 MINI Cooper SE. Was MINI in on this? It’s not certain, but perhaps they helped to pay for this primetime spot.
Did Super Bowl Car Ads Get Your Attention?
In total, automakers spent at least $110 million on commercials in Super Bowl 56. Throw in production costs and pricey actor paychecks, and the total goes even higher. It’s clear that the game is still relevant to automotive brands. Will it do them any good? Tesla’s formidable rise has been accomplished with almost zero dollars spent on advertising. Considering that almost all of the car commercials in Super Bowl 56 were EV-related, it will be fascinating to see if car buyers take to the latest advertising push from legacy automakers like GM, BMW and Kia.
Which Super Bowl car commercial was your favorite? Were there any new cars you were surprised to see absent from Super Bowl 56 commercial breaks? Let us know in the comments. Share your thoughts with fellow automotive enthusiasts and car buyers at joinyaa.com/community.
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