Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi buy Super Bowl ads to put a dent on Lexus dominance

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 26, 2011

In an attempt to beat Lexus in the sales race, Mercedes-Benz has sought tennis star Serena Williams and a tweeting mom from suburban Chicago to add to the online buzz of its first advertising appearance during the Super Bowl telecast.

During the Feb. 6 broadcast of the American football championship, there will also be ads from BMW AG and Volkswagen AG's Audi.

This is actually the first time that all three German luxury brands have ads for the event. The Nielsen Co. said that last year, advertisers paid $3 million for a 30-second slot.

Bill Visnic, an analyst at U.S. auto website Edmunds.com, said that the Germans consider Lexus to be “vulnerable” so they’re not leaving anything to chance and are “pulling out all the stops.”

The German automakers have always been bothered that they haven’t been able to wrestle the top spot away from Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus.

In fact, BMW, Daimler AG's Mercedes unit and Audi (the top-three luxury brands) dominate sales everywhere in the world except the U.S., where Lexus shot to popularity with its sport-utility vehicles and hybrids.

The ads for the Super Bowl emphasize just how much these German companies want to boost their growths in the world's biggest luxury-car market. Meanwhile, Lexus wants to regain its reputation for quality that was affected by Toyota's recall crisis last year. [via autonews - sub. required]

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