Ads Score Big With Car Shoppers During Super Bowl XLVII

Alpacas, a genie, a farmer and babies flying in from space were just a few of the characters auto manufacturers used to try and grab consumer’s attention during Super Bowl® XLVII. And judging by the activity on, the Internet’s ultimate automotive marketplace, they resonated with car shoppers.

On average, vehicles that were advertised during the game saw a 245% increase in search activity on during the hour after their ads ran. The Hyundai Santa Fe saw the greatest increase in search activity, with a lift of 1,004%. The Kia Forte saw the second highest increase at 750%, while the Kia Sorento came in third at 521%.

“Hyundai really benefitted from their sponsorship and ad buys during the pre-game,” said Rick Wainschel ,’s vice president of automotive insights. “While this percentage lift is attributed to the ‘Team’ spot, there’s no question that the ‘Epic Playdate’ spot and their pre-game branding elements also helped catch shopper’s attention.”

Automakers who chose to use their ad time to promote their overall brand or a product that’s not yet available to consumers saw on average a 79% increase in search activity. The social-media generated “#SteerTheScript” spot from Lincoln made shoppers curious enough about the brand to cause a 242% lift in search activity the hour after it ran. The Mercedes-Benz “Soul” commercial for the not-yet-available CLA gave a boost to current models, with a 75% boost in search activity. Jeep saw a 61% increase in search activity following its “Coming Home” ad, while RAM saw a boost of 55% after the popular “Farmer” ad.


“While it does take a significant amount of traffic to show measurable lift at the model level, it’s even harder to do at the make level, particularly for high-volume brands like RAM,” said Wainschel. “While Lincoln’s tactic of leveraging social media to guide content definitely worked in their favor, I think all four of these spots were highly effective.”

To reach these conclusions, analysts looked for percentage lifts by comparing search activity at the make and model level in the hour immediately after the ad ran and compared it to activity the hour before the game (5-6PM EST). This timeframe was determined to be the most statistically appropriate baseline after an extensive analysis of site traffic patterns over several years. With more than 16 million consumers visiting the site every month, is an ideal bellwether of automotive shopping behavior.


The story doesn’t end with the conclusion of the game – analysts will continue to monitor how the ads impact shopper interest in the days and weeks ahead to identify which spots were most effective in holding consumer’s attention. Analysts will also be gathering attitudinal insights from on-site surveys and the site’s big game social landing page, where consumers can watch all of the automotive commercials, comment and vote on their favorites. The voting module is already starting to give a sense of the ads that were fan favorites, with the Audi “Prom,” Toyota “Wish Granted” and Kia “Space Babies” getting “thumbs up” from shoppers.