Super Bowl car commercials ‘doing something right,’ says

Maserati Ghibli (photo:

Now that everyone else has weighed in with their reviews of the “best” and “worst” car commercials of Super Bowl XLVIII, has provided some hard data on which automakers got the biggest bang for their millions of bucks.

The Super Bowl verdict, so far, at least: Luxury carmakers Maserati and Jaguar, which experienced big increases in searches for their models at

For the third year in a row, analysts measured activity on during the Super Bowl to see which car commercials “went beyond entertaining viewers to entice them to actively seek out more information about the brands and vehicles shown.”

“One of the big stories of the night was around shopper interest in luxury vehicles, particularly exotics,” reported on Monday. “Surprise advertiser Maserati saw the biggest lift in searches at both the make and model level … [and] first-time big game advertiser Jaguar wasn’t too far behind.” The automakers saw increases in activity of 2,143 percent and 1,460 percent, respectively.

Manufacturers of less exotic automobiles also drew “a significant amount of car shopper interest,” said “The Audi A3 saw the third largest gain from a make/model perspective with a 379 percent increase in search activity [at] coming from their ‘Doberhuahua’ spot, with Hyundai right on their heels with a 373 percent lift in searches for the Genesis.”

Mainstream vehicles such as Toyota Highlander and Ford Fusion also got a lift from their commercials, up 84 percent and 81 percent, respectively, according to the AutoTrader report.

Kelley Blue Book at and reported similar results, according to a report in Auto Remarketing online.

“While the strong performance of the exotic manufacturers was impressive, it’s in a way more relevant to see which of the volume vehicles broke through,” said Rick Wainschel of “Models like the A3, Genesis, Fusion and Highlander have a significant amount of competition and are on more consumers’ shopping lists, so it means a bit more when they can stand out.”

Among brands seeing the greatest impact were Kia, with a “search lift” of 150 percent after “The Truth” commercial, while Hyundai (50 percent, Audi and Chrysler (both 47 percent) also performed well.

“It’s not easy to achieve these kinds of large shifts in search activity at the brand level, so it’s clear that these ads were doing something right,” said John Kovac, vice president of Marketing, AutoTrader Group. “The Kia ad in particular … resonated with car shoppers.”

To reach its conclusions, analysts measured search activity at the make and model level in the hour immediately after an ad ran and compared it to activity the hour before the game. AutoTrader analysts will continue to monitor how the car commercials impact searches in the days and weeks ahead to identify which spots were most effective in sustaining consumer attention.

See our blog post yesterday for more on the best and worst car commercials of the 2014 Super Bowl.


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