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2013 Super Bowl top car ads

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    Watch Kia's Hotbot get revenge on a grubby motor show guy.

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It’s our favourite month for car ads.


kate upton






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Carmakers spend up big on the annual Super Bowl commercials, with a 30-second in-game spot costing $3.7m and even slots at the start and end of the game commanding premium prices.

It’s money well spent if they can attract attention – and turn it into sales. And a good ad can go far beyond the game day, turning viral and getting millions of views. Volkswagen’s Darth Vader from the 2011 Super Bowl and the hot Adriana Lima commercial from the 2012 Super Bowl are just two of the stars that went on to become global successes.

So which are the big contenders this year?

Mercedes-Benz was early out of the gates with a teaser featuring swimsuit model Kate Upton ‘washing a car slowly’. The shapely Ms Upton doesn’t actually get her own hands wet – except to blow a bit of foam around – and her role seems to be mainly distracting the footballers who are doing all the hard work.

Merc has followed up with what must have been a costly exercise for the CLA, with a pact offered by Willem Dafoe as Satan, and the Rolling Stones ‘Sympathy for the Devil as the soundtrack.

We reckon Coke filched ideas from two top Aussie movies. Their Coke Chase ad features a gang of Mad Max baddies and a crew of showgirls in a pink Priscilla bus, vying with a Great Escape motorbike, a posse of cowboys and a camel-leading Arabian sheik – all in a race to a giant Coke bottle.

The ad is the key creative in an online campaign that lets viewers vote to let three of the teams reach the bottle first – or delay the other teams by watching linked ‘sabotage’ videos.

Voting will run through to the final second of the Super Bowl game, and the team with the most votes will star in the ad to air immediately after the game finishes.

The early teaser for Toyota’s ‘Wish’ spot featured The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco – it looked like fun and was backed up with the 'Careful What You Wish For' full ad, which gained much from Cuoco's perky personality as Penny.

Kia’s Space Babies teaser shows some fantastic CGI, and an even more fantastic answer to kids asking where they come from. The ad works well nearly right to the slightly lame ending, but its doubtful it stacks up as something to rival their viral stars, the Soul Hamsters.

But the Kia ad that will have everybody talking -- including motoring journos -- is 'Hotbots', where a robotic motor show stand attendant (we don't call them booth babes here) gets revenge on a grubby guy.

Hyundai has gone all-out for the Super Bowl with several spots. The 'Team' one for Santa Fe is an early favourite, with some great performances from child actors -- and a very scary mum.

The 'Playdate' takes you on an extreme day out of having fun and upsetting security guards, bikies and police, with the Flaming Lips providing the soundtrack.

The Genesis gets talked up in 'Excited' with Hyundai touting its advantages over high end, and particularly German, luxury cars.

And then there's the aversion therapy of 'Stuck', showing some of the worst vehicles you can be stuck behind in traffic -- unless you have a Hyundai Sonata to overtake them, of course.

Volkswagen has ditched the Star Wars theme, and instead drafted reggae legend Jimmy Cliff for their ‘Get Happy’ teaser – and then got into a little hot water with the full ad, which shows Caucasian men taking off Jamaican accents.

Perhaps it’s still a Star Wars link … the movie franchise faced similar accusations of racial stereotyping with the Jamaican-sounding Jar Jar Binks.

Audi taps into every adolescent boy’s fantasy with a lad heading off to prom night alone being tossed the keys to his dad’s Audi S6, kissing the football jock’s girlfriend and generally making it a night to remember.

Fiat has launched a trio of ads for the 500L, all aimed at emphasising how much larger it is than the garden variety 500. Date, Sisters and Wedding are all flavoured with Italian dressing and – while not as scorching at the Catrinel Menghia Abarth ads – still manage to be cheeky.

And even snack food Doritos has got in on the car act, with one of the finalists for its Crash the Super Bowl ad playoff featuring the perfect solution to a back seat dog problem.

We'll be updating with all the others as they appear. so stay tuned.






Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 6 comments

  • thanks ted thorne…totaly agree.
    A society of hypocrites.

    full name Posted on 08 February 2013 5:57pm
  • To understand whether the portrayal of violence in an ad is acceptable, I like to reverse the gender roles. Now ask yourself “how many times does an ad go to air that shows a man beating the cr*p out of a woman?” If the answer is as high as one, someone is losing their job.

    ...well? of dunt Posted on 07 February 2013 1:12pm
  • Yes real funny, portraying violence against men as being acceptable. Hope they do a similar one where a woman gets belted by Tiger Woods with a golf club for her trying to kill him. Now THAT would be funny.

    ted thorne of melbourne Posted on 06 February 2013 8:16am
  • This was the best add.

    Mark McMulligan of Sydney Posted on 04 February 2013 4:17am
  • Asimov’s Rule #1:
    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————- Have you SEEN some of the guys at motor shows. I’m not convinced they’re human. - Ed.

    JY of Australia Posted on 04 February 2013 1:57am
  • We made an over-the-top Kate Upton Super Bowl ad parody: See it on youtube.

    Daisee Dukes of United States Posted on 02 February 2013 5:20pm
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