With no fewer than 16 car commercials running during Super Bowl XLIX – each costing roughly $150,000 a second – auto makers give their best shot at creating buzz for their new models. Not all are winners though. Here are the five that scored big.
5. MERCEDES-BENZ AMG GT S | FABLE
I get it. If I were a tortoise in a race against some cocky hare, I’d jump into a brand new 503 horsepower Mercedes-AMG GT S supercar and burn some rubber. For its quirky 60-second Super Bowl slot, Mercedes adapted Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” fable with plenty of furry woodland critters helping to introduce its $130,000, Porsche 911-challenging AMG GT S. All very whimsical, but some cool shots of the new Merc in action, and a fun punchline with Mad Men’s John Hamm reminding viewers that the car’s “hare-raising power and performance is no fair tale.”
4. LEXUS RC F | LET’S PLAY
It took me a few seconds to realize that the sexy Lexus RC F sports coupe slipping and sliding into impossibly tight spots wasn’t actually the real thing, but a one-tenth-scale remote control version. Very realistic. And a lot of fun. Then to have the full-size Lexus get into the action at the end, drifting in harmony with the scaled-down version, was brilliant. According to car buying research services Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book, who tracked interest in manufacturer websites after the various ads appeared, this Lexus Let’s Play ad was the night’s biggest car ad winner.
3. BMW i3 | NEWFANGLED IDEAS
It’s hard to believe that it was only 21 years ago since Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel, hosting the new Today Show, asked the question on air “What is the Internet?” And struggled to explain this new-fangled piece of technology. Fast forward to Super Bowl XLIX and they’re sitting inside a new electric-powered BMW i3, again stumped by new technology and asking “What is the i3, anyway?” Clever ad, especially when they flashed back to that famous 1994 YouTube clip of Couric and Gumbel. And a clever way of spotlighting the new i3.
2. KIA SORENTO | WITNESS THE GETAWAY
I have to say that Pierce Brosnan, quite possibly my favorite James Bond, is looking pretty fit and feisty these days at age 61. And man does the guy still look sharp in a suit. In Kia’s spot for the new Sorento sport-ute, Brosnan plays his usual super-cool Bond character, expecting to star in some adventure thriller filled with sports cars, rocket launchers, snipers in trees and exploding houses. Instead, he’s driving a Sorento encountering mooses and owls. But in 60 seconds there are no fewer than 40 cuts, so it feels like a fast-paced, mini 007 romp, with a fun Bond-gets-the-girl ending.
1. FIAT 500X | BLUE PILL
The best. And most fun. I loved it. Here’s the amorous, aging Italian romeo, being beckoned between the sheets, only to have his ardor halted when his little blue pill slips through his fingers. We watch as it bounces across lovely tiled Italian rooftops, skims across an ancient fountain, down a drain pipe and eventually into the open gas cap of a Fiat 500. As expected, the 500 does an Incredible Hunk transformation and becomes “bigger and more powerful and ready for action” morphing into the new 500X cross-over. It was filmed in the Italian cities of Pitigliano and Sorano and makes you want to drive there in a new 500X. A worthy winner.