Another Car Brand Deserts Super Bowl Xlix Advertising

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Looks like New England Patriot footballs aren’t the only things being deflated in the run-up to Super Bowl XLIX. So is the number of car brands buying commercial time in the game. Longtime advertiser Hyundai announced plans to sit out the Super Bowl, joining “a growing list of automakers that frequently buy into the big game but are abstaining for 2015,” according to a January 23 Advertising Age report.

Hyundai’s been a steady Super Bowl advertiser, running one or two spots per game since 2007. In 2009, it introduced an “Assurance” program that promised to take back the car if its owner’s job fell victim to the Great Recession. Last year, one of its two Super Bowl commercials showed a father keeping his son from harm over the years and teaching him to drive a Hyundai Genesis with automatic emergency brakes.

The Korean automaker is the seventh brand in its category to bench itself from this year’s Super Bowl. In its decision to sit out the game, Hyundai joins six-year veteran Audi, perennial advertiser General Motors, Lincoln, Jaguar, Acura and Honda.

As a result, while last year’s Super Bowl carried two dozen car commercials, this year’s will air less than half that number. In a November 17 interview, NBS Sports evp for sales Seth Winter blamed the loss of sponsorship on a lack of new models for 2015. “If they’re not launching, they may not feel compelled to be there [on the Super Bowl broadcast],” he told Ad Age.

But maybe, just maybe, NBC’s all-time record high pricing of $4.5 million per 30-second spot in the middle of what’s still a rotten economy might have a little something to do with it. You won’t hear that from Winter, though. He’s too busy channeling Kevin Bacon’s “All is well” performance from “National Lampoon’s Animal House.”

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