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Best Car Ads of Super Bowl 2012

Advertisers paid an average of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot during Super Bowl 2012, according to ESPN.com. That means Chrysler’s two minute-long “Halftime in America” ad starring Clint Eastwood cost about $14 million, and that doesn’t even include production costs. But what does that money really buy? Did that commercial affect consumer consideration

We won’t know for a few weeks whether these ads translate to real-world sales, making the high price worth taking. But some ads generated more consumer interest than others.

Winners:

FIAT 500

FIAT’s racy commercial for its upcoming 500 Abarth edition caused Super Bowl viewers to run to their computers for more information. After it aired during the third quarter, Edmunds.com recorded a huge increase of 3,354 percent in pageviews of their review of the FIAT 500. At U.S. News Best Cars, we saw a pageview increase of almost 205 percent for the 2012 FIAT 500 when comparing Saturday and Sunday with last weekend. Whether it was the performance-oriented FIAT 500 Abarth or model Catrinel Menghia that inspired Super Bowl viewers to get online and look up FIAT, the commercial certainly caused a buzz.

Hyundai Veloster

In this ad, the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo outruns a cheetah, leaving the big cat in the dust. Fortunately, the cheetah’s handler doesn’t get eaten (at least during the commercial), but the ad was amusing enough to cause a 96 percent increase in views of the Hyundai Veloster’s page on our website. Plus, Edmunds recorded a 716 percent spike in pageviews just after the commercial aired during the first quarter. The 2013 Veloster Turbo won’t be available in the U.S. until this summer, Autoblog reports, but it looks like Hyundai’s Super Bowl commercial is getting buyers excited.

Cadillac ATS

Cadillac’s recent advertisements feature its cars driving on the legendary Nurburgring race track, and the commercial for the upcoming 2013 Cadillac ATS is no different. This commercial claims that Cadillac developed the ATS in Germany specifically to take on the BMW 3-Series. After the ad ran, we saw a 300 percent increase in pageviews from consumers looking for further information compared with last weekend. Edmunds recorded an even bigger jump in interest. The website says they saw a pageview increase of 858 percent.

Losers:

Chevrolet Silverado

Chevrolet’s ad for the Silverado has certainly generated discussion, and even touched off legal proceedings, but it didn’t inspire football fans to get online in search of more details about the pickup truck. The ad stated that the Chevrolet Silverado is the “longest-lasting, most dependable truck on the road” and that it could last through the apocalypse while the Ford F-150 couldn’t. The commercial implied that the characters’ friend, Dave, didn’t live through the world-ending event because he drove a Ford. Though automakers, enthusiasts and legal teams are up in arms about the ad’s claims, most Super Bowl viewers were more interested in watching the first quarter. Visits to the Silverado’s review on Edmunds.com only increased by 6 percent during the next quarter, and we actually recorded about a 1 percent decrease in pageviews of our review over the previous weekend.

Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry was redesigned for 2012, and Toyota’s ad agency decided to expand on that theme, imagining reinvented (and ostensibly improved) everyday items like a couch, a blender and the DMV. The 2012 Toyota Camry has been on sale for several months, and most people are familiar with past generations of Toyota’s midsize sedan, so it makes sense that fewer people would head to their computers to look it up. Still, we saw about a 5.7 percent decrease in pageviews for the 2012 Camry over the Super Bowl weekend than the previous weekend, and Edmunds only saw an increase in interest of 47 percent. That’s not much when you compare it with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, which saw an increase in pageviews of 676 percent on Edmunds.com.

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