Super Bowl will treat certain car makers well

Friday, February 1, 2013

Its no secret that the Super Bowl is big business for companies that are debuting commercials during the big game, especially considering if you want a 30 second spot you'll have to pony up a cool $4 million. Since that is the record average companies have paid, it's safe to say you can expect a lot out of this year's commercials.

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Kelley Blue Book is already making predictions on which commercials will resonate with consumers. According to KBB, the redesigned Toyota RAV4 will come out on top of the other automakers featuring ads. KBB expects that more shoppers will head to their website to research the vehicle compared to any other model featured in this year's big game.

"Similar to last year's advertising buzz surrounding Honda's CR-V ad, we anticipate the Toyota RAV4 will experience a similar effect with a surge of visitors researching the car on KBB.com," said Arthur Henry, manager of market intelligence for Kelley Blue Book. "The RAV4 also competes in the popular compact SUV segment, which is in high demand due to its fuel economy and affordability.  As one of the last vehicles to receive a redesign in its segment, coupled with a high-profile ad campaign featuring The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco , the RAV4 is sure to experience a jump in shopper activity on KBB.com."

KBB also expects that the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA will catch the eye of consumers, as its Market Intelligence survey showed that Americas are buzzing over model Kate Upton being showcased in the ad. The survey showed that 25 percent of consumers who watched all the auto commercial teasers recalled the Mercedes-Benz commercial most often.

A separate KBB survey showed that 74 percent of KBB visitors plan on tuning in for the Super Bowl and more than 25 percent said that the commercials will be the highlight of their evening.

"With a large number of consumers tuning into the Big Game and paying close attention to the commercials, automakers who run advertisements during this event will have the opportunity to garner a tremendous amount of Internet traffic, both to new-car research websites like KBB.com and auto manufacturer sites," Henry added. "Furthermore, with the game being streamed on the Internet in addition to the television broadcast, it makes it even easier for consumers to research the advertised models and brands online."

While millions around the world will be tuning in for the big game, these commercials often live on through social media and other outlets. According to a report by AdWeek, of the top 20 YouTube advertisements in December, eight of them were from car companies and all but one were featured in last year's Super Bowl. The advertisement from Volkswagen, titled the Bark Side, featuring no cars whatsoever, was No. 3 on the list and the top of the automaker's with 18 million views on YouTube.

Transaction prices up in January

While automaker's expect to see big sales numbers from subsequent Super Bowl advertising hype, January transaction prices increased 1 percent when compared to December 2012, as automakers remain smart about incentive offerings, according to a recent report by TrueCar.

"Transaction prices continue to be at record levels as attractive leases and low cost financing options are enabling consumers to afford more expensive vehicles with rich content while keeping their monthly payments at about the same levels," said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for TrueCar. "Automakers are getting better at employing "smart incentives" that produce better returns vs. the one-size-fits-all programs of the pre-recession days."