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Automakers Hype Super Bowl Ads, but are Ads Worth the Investment?

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class will be in a Super Bowl ad featuring Kate Upton.

Automakers will spend up to $4 million for a 30-second commercial during the 2013 Super Bowl, according to The Detroit Bureau. There’s no doubt that these commercials are entertaining, but are they worth the investment?

The International Business Times says 163 million people watched at least part of last year’s Super Bowl, which means ads earn automakers a lot of attention. That doesn’t include the millions of hits their YouTube videos get. Still, Forbes says the commercials aren’t the best financial investment.

Forbes mentions that the ads are rarely repeated, and that while people are entertained, they aren’t convinced to buy the vehicle. Forbes also says the commercials can be too immature, unless babies or dogs are featured, like in previous E-Trade and Volkswagen commercials.

Automakers do benefit, though. Leading up to the game, automakers release snippets of ads that will air on Super Bowl Sunday. Forbes says the previews increase brand awareness and help boost an automaker’s stock prices.

Mercedes-Benz               

Kate Upton Washes the All-New Mercedes-Benz CLA in Slow Motion

There’s already buzz that Mercedes-Benz’s ad, which features supermodel Kate Upton, is too risqué. Upton gets her all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA washed by a group of teenage football players while wearing a low-cut tank top and short shorts. The clip “has been the subject of a number of mainstream media stories debating whether or not it objectifies women,” writes USA Today. The ad received nearly 5.4 million hits on YouTube as of Tuesday morning. 

Ford

Ford hasn’t aired a commercial at the Super Bowl since 2006 when Kermit the Frog starred in an ad for the Ford Escape Hybrid. After a seven-year hiatus, Ford says it’s returning to the big game with its first ever Lincoln commercial, featuring Jimmy Fallon, who will use consumer feedback from Twitter to write the script. The Detroit Free Press says Ford wants to use the advertisement to help revitalize the Lincoln brand.

Volkswagen

Sunny Side
Get In. Get Happy.

For the past two years, Volkswagen has been in the limelight with its little Darth Vader and fitness-conscious dog commercials. This year, VW encourages people to look at the bright side with commercials themed “Get In. Get Happy.” The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle is one model featured in the ads.

Toyota

Wish Granted

Toyota’s commercial for the redesigned 2013 RAV4 is called “Wish Granted,” and stars actress Kaley Cuoco from “The Big Bang Theory.” Cuoco struts around in a purple suit and purple stilettos, granting wishes for the family who owns the RAV4, Toyota says in a statement. The commercial follows the lyrics of the mid-90s rap hit “I Wish,” by Skee-Lo.

Chrysler

Chrysler hasn’t released any Super Bowl ad snippets, but USA Today says an ad will air on Sunday. “For the third year in a row, the Auburn Hills, Mich., automaker is planning a long commercial that it hopes will be impactful, but the company hasn't said how long the ad will be or what car or truck it will highlight.”

Hyundai

Don't Tell

So far, Hyundai has released snippets for four ads: “Epic PlayDate,” “Team,” “Stuck” and “Excited.” The commercials feature the Hyundai Genesis R-Spec, Hyundai Santa Fe and Hyundai Sonata Turbo. “Don’t Tell” (shown above), which “cleverly celebrates quality family time with Mom and Dad, will air during the pre-game show,” says Hyundai.

Audi

Prom

Audi released three versions of its commercial, “Prom,” and allowed audiences to choose the one that will air on Sunday. Voting closed Jan. 25. The winning ad features the 2013 Audi S6 and is already on YouTube.  

Shopping for a new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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