Super Bowl Comeback on Wheels Signals Optimism

Read More at: NYTimes

The automotive industry could be buying the most commercial time of any advertiser category during the game, vying with beverages and movies for the top spot. There may be as many as nine car brands peddling their wares during what is typically the most-watched television program of the year, from economy makes like Chevrolet, Hyundai and Kia to luxury marques like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

For the Chevrolet parent, General Motors, the ad buy signals a return to the Super Bowl after two years away. It will also be the first Super Bowl in a decade for BMW, which will run two commercials in the game, and the first ever for Mercedes-Benz.

The automakers are also surrounding their Super Bowl buys with extensive pre- and postgame promotions, many of them in social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Mercedes-Benz will give away two cars in what is being called the “Tweet Race to the Big Game.” Kia plans a contest, giving away five cars, and will team with SocialVibe to sponsor a “Big Game Tournament” for players of Zynga social games like FarmVille.

The Super Bowl ad debut for Mercedes-Benz will have a humorous cameo appearance by hip-hop star Diddy, a k a Sean Combs.

The commercial, for the Kia Optima midsize sedan, mimics a science fiction movie; the cast members include an Aztec-type chieftain and his tribe, Poseidon and space aliens. Kia will begin running ‘look for us in the big game’ teaser commercials on Monday.