The Best of Superbowl Car Commercials

There were some new faces in this year’s Superbowl commercials.  Today, we’ll focus on just the automobile commercials.  The brands that round out the list in no particular order are: Acura, Hyundai, Audi, Buick, Jeep, Mini, and Toyota

Mini – Defy Labels
Mini spent their 30 seconds of fame trying to dispel the myth that they were only a car for a very specific demographic by parading a slew of celebrities across the screen.  The disappointing aspect was that the Mini just sat there throughout the entire commercial and they never highlighted the vehicle itself.


Jeep – Portraits
Jeep immediately pulled at your heartstrings by showing a series of images from World War II to Jurassic Park.  The limitation here was that your connection to the commercial was limited to your experience with their brand throughout your life.  A very powerful message to the existing “cult” of Jeep owners, but it fell a little bit short of appealing to new customers.


Toyota – The Longest Chase
Here again, a manufacturer spent their precious air time dispelling myths about their vehicle when a group of bank robbers has their get away car towed and has to commandeer a Toyota Prius as their get away vehicle.  The commercial highlights the acceleration, backup camera, fuel efficiency, autonomous braking, etc. of the new Prius IV.  The car is highlighted throughout the commercial, and the only real inconsistency is that the cameo appearances by the season 2 cast of “The Wire” shows them as bank robbers instead of the drug smugglers they played on the show.


Hyundai – Ryanville
Hyundai went BIG this year with multiple commercials for the Elantra.  In this spot Hyundai creates a parallel bizzaro universe where all men look like Ryan Reynolds to highlight another autonomous braking system that even works on pedestrians.


Hyundai – Talking Bears
This Hyundai Elantra commercial focuses on the vehicle’s smart phone integration by featuring a couple being chased through the woods by a pair of ravenous bears.  Just before they arrive at the vehicle the drivers engages his smartwatch and “tells” the car to start.  The bears only eating humans on an “cheat” day for their diet adds comic relief, but you have to wonder if this was in production before or after the release of “The Revenant”.


Hyundai – First Date
Hyundai again, focused on just one of their vehicle’s features in the Hyundai Genesis First Date commercial featuring Kevin Hart as an overprotective father who uses Hyundai’s car finder system to track and spy on his daughter and her date as they spend their evening at the movie theater, carnival, and “parking”.


Acura – What He Said
As well produced as this commercial was, I can’t help but feel that it was a bit of a reach for Acura.  The NSX has never been one of those iconic vehicles that fostered an enormous following.  Nonetheless, the new model is beautiful, but at a price tag of $157,000 it is definitely not a car for the masses.


Buick – The Big Day
I have never been a huge fan of the ongoing “it’s a Buick” themed commercials where everyone is surprised that the vehicle in the ad is a Buick.  Unfortunately, this one is no exception.  Buick launched this campaign style back in March of 2014 and I think that they’ve milked it for all it’s worth.  After almost 2 years of advertising, I think that there was a lost opportunity here to launch a new theme on the largest stage of them all, however, if it’s still moving units…..


Audi R8 – Commander
This in my opinion is what Acura missed out on with the NSX commercial.  Featuring an aging astronaut who has lost his zeal for life until hi son turns over the keys to a 205mph Audi R8 commercial immediately endears the American public to an import by connecting with one of the most compelling moments in American history, the race to the moon.


I won’t bore you with any count downs or long drawn out explanations.  If we were to choose by manufacturer, it would be tough to beat out Hyundai who appears to have laid out a VERY strategic campaign promoting their brand by using the absolute best of the features offered by multiple vehicles in their lineup, but that’s not what this was about.  This was a review of each :30 second segment.  That being said, in my opinion, it was Audi who scored best with a universal message that would connect with the masses balanced with all the best the R8 model has to offer.