Social is Key!
The biggest trend this year participating in the Super Bowl ad frenzy for the automotive industry was use of social media well before kickoff. In 2008 only a handful of automotive brands even participated by purchasing ad spots. This year 12 brands joined in, leaving Ford as the only big player to opt out.
“We’ve seen a big shift in how marketers approach the Super Bowl,” said Tim Calkins, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “It is more and more about the week leading up to the Super Bowl and a bit less about the game itself.”
Chrysler was one of the only brands that did not release their commercial before the game, generating just as much if not more buzz over their Clint Eastwood spot, especially since no one would actually confirm if Eastwood was in it until the spot ran. In the long run, Chrysler’s ad has been seen as less impactful than last’s year ad featuring Eminem, so whether or not the tactic worked in Chrysler’s favor is hard to say.
“While last year’s ad was uplifting, this ad seems to go nowhere,” said David Kiley in an AOL Autos article about the top ten best automotive Super Bowl spots this year, despite placing the Chrysler ad as their #10. “It neither lifts my idea of Detroit, nor Chrysler’s brands or product. It is an interesting message, but doesn’t seem to fit in ad-land as last year’s spot did.”
Placing Super Bowl commercials on YouTube pages, and sending out Facebook and Twitter messages in advance of the game, may have been the main trend for automotive Super Bowl ads, but besides being more involved in general, automotive brands also spent more than any other industry on their ads this year.
The messaging wasn’t only about the ads themselves, either. Chevrolet included a commercial by Zach Borst, a 26-year-old from Long Island who won an amateur contest to create the best Chevrolet commercial. The Chevy Game Time mobile app that launched for the Super Bowl offered games, quizzes, and prizes linked through their ads.
Likewise, Toyota took their social media marketing further with the “Camry Effect a Friend Giveaway”. During the Super Bowl, viewers could join in on a mobile app contest for the chance to win a brand new 2012 Toyota Camry for themselves and one for a friend.
Social media and early release of Super Bowl ads is the standard set this year, and it looks like we can expect more and more automotive brand participation in years to come.