SUPER BOWL Sunday explodes into action this Sunday and the Seattle Seahawks are preparing to do battle with the New England Patriots to retain American football’s most coveted prize.
There is also a battle waiting to commence off the field during Super Bowl XLIX. Last year’s game was the most watched television event in US history, attracting 11.5m viewers in America alone. The organisers claim that the glitzy do is one of the most watched sporting events on the planet, with the potential to reach 1bn people in more than 200 countries. It’s no wonder 30-second advertising slots, which come more often than most British viewers could stomach, cost about $4m (£2.5m).
Car companies have always had some of the biggest marketing budgets and they like nothing more than to try to come up with the most witty ad during the Super Bowl spectacular. Here is Driving’s pick of this year’s offerings so far…
BMW: New-Fangled Idea
The German marque opted to go for the full 1-minute ad slot this year – rumoured to cost around $8m – to promote its i3 electric car. The clip shows the American TV hosts Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel on The Today Show in 1994 trying to get their heads round email and the internet. Fast-forward 20 years and the pair are struggling to come to terms with a completely new form of all-electric transportation.
Super Bowl rating: Touch down! Funny and clever – points on the board for this one.
Lexus: Make Some Noise
Lexus is already an established name in the States, which is perhaps why it opted for this low-key commercial to highlight the latest NX model. It’s basically an electro-pop soundtrack enhanced by some button-prodding and door-slamming noises.
Super Bowl rating: Fourth and long! Lexus is way off with this one.
Toyota: How Great Am I
British customers can’t buy Toyota’s Camry model but that shouldn’t stop us appreciating this inspirational ad offering from Toyota. It focuses on the US Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy and the battles she has faced to reach the top of her game. A soundtrack that features Muhammad Ali’s gripping speech from 1974 only adds to the rousing feel.
Super Bowl rating: Half-time hot dog. Inspirational but could be viewed as slightly cheesy.
Kia: The Perfect Getaway
Take a pinch of Pierce Brosnan, throw in a large handful of Hollywood agent guff and add a teaspoon of self-deprecation, and you have the recipe for a rather entertaining ad for the new Kia Sorento. The punchline is well worth the wait too.
Super Bowl rating: Game-saving tackle. A great performance from the British star.
It seems a little odd that Mercedes opted for some CGI forest creatures to advertise its seriously quick, seriously noisy and seriously stylish AMG GT, but, hey, maybe that’s why we’re not in the advertising business. In Fable the marque retells the fable of the tortoise and the hare, but with a twist. Can you guess what it is? Yeah, we thought so.
Super Bowl rating: Plays a clean game without any dirty tricks.