BMW and Lexus return to Super Bowl to tout new products

Article by Andrew Christian, on January 18, 2015

While a number of carmakers are sitting out on the Super Bowl even after years of advertising in the big game, some are making their return like BMW and Lexus. For BMW, it bought a 60-second spot that will be aired during the event’s first quarter, featuring the $43,350 BMW i3 electric vehicle.

Trudy Hardy, vice president of marketing for BMW of North America, remarked in a statement that the carmaker views the Super Bowl as a big opportunity to “educate viewers on the importance of electric mobility,“ given the fact that one in three Americans are expected to watch the live broadcast of the big game.

On the other hand, Lexus will be back to air just its second Super Bowl commercial ever, which will feature the newly rolled out NX compact crossover. Lexus, which has been gaining on US sales leaders BMW and Mercedes-Benz, will air a spot that will focus on the NX -- with no celebrity endorsers, parodies or funny punch lines that may instead steal the limelight.

The spot ends by telling viewers to “be seen, be heard, make some noise.” The NX, which had its first full month of sales in December, carries a starting price of $36,330, including shipping.

So far, six brands -- BMW, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Toyota – are expected to advertise in the Super Bowl; just over half the number of auto advertisers last year at 11. Advertising Age has reported that General Motors will be sitting out on this year’s edition of the Super Bowl.

A GM spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to Automotive News that Chevrolet’s chief marketing officer Tim Mahoney has said that since they don’t have any major launches at this time, they will sit out this year. Other carmakers that will pass on Super Bowl ads this year include Honda, Acura, Jaguar, Lincoln and Volkswagen.

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