Auto companies continue ad dominance in Super Bowl XLVI

Article by Anita Panait, on February 1, 2012

Last year’s theatrics and lavish Super Bowl commercials set the tone for even more impressive advertisements on this year’s big football event. In 2011, the Super Bowl was dominated by a dozen auto-related companies, including car makers from Europe. It was just in time for the industry’s recovery from a recession that reduced vehicle sales as a result of lower consumer spending.Last year’s Super Bowl was highlighted by the return of Chrysler in the big game with its two-minute commercial with rap star Eminem spearheading GM’s charge. Chrysler also made a splash at last year’s Super Bowl with a Transformers commercial as well as Cruze spots.

German luxury carmakers made their presence felt, especially Volkswagen with its Darth Vader commercial. VW looks to carry on what it started in 2011 as it released last week 60-second Super Bowl teaser called “The Bark Side.” The teaser features a dozen dogs with their rendition of the Darth Vader’s theme, the “Imperial March,” the same song in the 2011 Super Bowl commercial that became a viral sensation.

VW is not the only automaker hoping to connect a marketing touchdown at the Super Bowl, as 10 other auto companies have also bought spots throughout the game. All 11 auto companies account for more than 30 percent of the commercials, a sign that the industry continues to be on the rise after its recovery last year. Super Bowl in-game commercials are not cheap; companies have to pay $3.5 million for 30 seconds and around $6 million for a 60 second clip.

The Super Bowl is one of the most watched televised sports events, with around 80 to 90 million views across the U.S. This year’s edition, the Super Bowl XLVI, will be broadcast on NBC on February 5, featuring the match-up between recent champions New England Patriots and New York Giants at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

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