Category Archives: Advertising/Marketing Business

Quick Reaction: 2nd Half Automotive Super Bowl XLIX Ads

Earlier, I posted my quick reactions to the 1st half Super Bowl automotive spots, and here’s my reactions to the 2nd half ones:

Toyota “Bold Dad”

Toyota has got to be so frustrated that Nissan ran such a similar spot before they got to run theirs. Just like with their other spot, I think the “bold” thing is a lame stretch for Toyota and this one doesn’t do it for me either.

Lexus “Let’s Play”

Lexus is doing the same thing as Toyota right now – trying to shed their boring, stodgy image and get some of that BMW excitement image. I think Lexus is doing a better job of it, both from an advertising standpoint and the product that backs it up. Based on the reviews I’ve read, this Lexus delivers the goods, and I think the ad does too – lots of fun.

Dodge “100th Birthday”

I am very, very surprised they decided to run this almost-one-year-old spot again, not because it isn’t good, but because it’s not new. I love it though, as I said back in May. I think it’s far better than the Dodge Brothers spots they’ve been running for months, which try to make it sound like the first Dodges were sports cars or something (they weren’t). Those spots being so prevalent makes me even more surprised they went back to this one. Well done Dodge.

Kia “Getaway”

Does Kia realize it’s been over 15 years since Pierce Brosnan was James Bond? I wonder if they tried to get Daniel Craig to do this one and he turned them down. That new Sorento is beautiful, but this spot just felt forced and a “me too” celebrity spot, which this game has been full of.

Jeep “Beautiful Lands”

A visually beautiful spot taking the Jeep brand all over the world, though I’m not sure Americans really get/appreciate showing China and other markets FCA is trying to market the Jeep brand in. Like so many (mis)uses of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and Martina McBride’s “Independence Day”, the use of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” is not without irony, as pointed out by my friend John:

  More points to FCA for this charitable tie-in too though:

Most shocking to me, now that we’ve seen three FCA spots, and I think they only purchased three, is that none were for the Chrysler brand after they supported it consistently the past few games.

Mercedes-Benz “Fable”
I like that there are accompanying videos featuring Jerry Rice, Mike & Mike and more for this spot, but this felt way too childish to appeal to somebody cross shopping the SLS with the Jag F-Type, Dodge Viper, Corvette Z06, Aston Vantage, etc.

Overall a decent year for ads. Once again, the top automotive spots were done by Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles. Kudos to their team and their agencies – hopefully they get $25M+ in value, as they spent at least that on the space + production costs.

Quick Reaction: 1st Half Automotive Super Bowl XLIX Ads

The first half of Super Bowl XLIX featured some great ads (esurance’s Walter White one) and some not-so-great ones (the Nationwide “Boy” (dead kid) ad. A lot of the biggest brands in automotive were here, though Ford wasn’t. They typically don’t invest in obscenely expensive Super Bowl ads, but I’m surprised they didn’t this year with their two most iconic products (Mustang and F-150) both all-new. Anyway, here’s my quick reactions to the auto industry ones:

Chevrolet  Colorado “Blackout”

I’d derided Chevy for overrunning the Colorado’s launch spot that used AC/DC’s “Back in Black” to basically say you’re less of a man if you drive a Civic, which they backed up with the silly focus group of women spot. However, they redeemed themselves with this one that got a ton of attention. I thought it was pretty weak to start but the hugely positive reaction on Twitter changed my mind.

BMW “Newfangled Idea”

Definitely my favorite ad of all so far – using that infamous 1994 Bryant Gumbel/Katie  Couric clip and getting them both to be in the spot was brilliant, and the message was spot-on for the i3 car and the BMW brand. Loved it.

Fiat “Blue Pill”

This one was fun, though I loathe Fiat following the same product strategy as Mini (over-extending their brand with too many versions of the core model). The spot itself was good though, even if parents may end up having to explain away blue pills to their kids.

Nissan “With Dad”

From a production value standpoint, I loved this spot, especially that it utilized Nissan’s racing investment as an integral part, which doesn’t usually happen in mainstream spots. But, for being 90 seconds long, I wasn’t sold on what the point of the whole thing was.
Dan Bedore of Nissan PR was nice enough to give me a summary of it though:

I guess I see that’s what their intent was, but don’t think they showed the payoff well enough, considering they had 90 seconds to get there. A hug in a new Maxima doesn’t fix Dad being gone so much.

Toyota “How Great I Am”
Not a huge fan of brands using handicapped people/kids to try and make a tie to their brands, though Microsoft’s effort was far better than Toyota’s, personally. Toyota seems to have listened far too much to enthusiast automotive journalists forever calling the Camry boring, so they’ve decided that the Camry is now a bold, exciting vehicle, as demonstrated by this spot, the one where a guy takes a bride away from her own wedding in a Camry, etc. But why, Toyota? Own being the ultra-reliable, comfortable, driving appliance that the Camry is. You destroyed every other model in the segment in sales again in ’14, which makes the “look at us, we’re exciting now!” campaign just seem silly to me.

Weather Tech “America at Work”

It was kind of refreshing to see a brand just try and sell stuff with their spot, rather than reach with some far-fetched story or half-assed tie in with a higher morality/purpose type spot. Weather Tech is great product, made in America and they own their segment. Great reminder to built top-of-mind, though I might have gone down the “terrible winter weather means you should protect your car’s interior” road instead, given that it’s February.

Lexus NX “Make Some Noise”

Completely mediocre and unmemorable. The NX looks so much like the RX that I’m not sure it didn’t just confuse anybody watching. I’m a gearhead and close follower of the industry and I don’t even know for sure the difference.


So, what did you think? My thoughts on the 2nd half automotive ads from Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus were posted after the game.

Dodge does it again.

I just got done singing the praises of Dodge and its ad agency in a recent post, and now they’ve gone and done it again.  To celebrate their 100th anniversary, they released this spot during the New York Int’l Auto Show:

Like the “Uncle” spot, it’s aggressive, fun and right on point with where they are trying to take the Dodge brand. I’m not sure the brand strategy Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles has in mind will work, but the marketing team won’t be to blame for that. Fantastic work again, Dodge team.