With the Super Bowl right around the corner, there’s been a lot of reports about automakers avoiding the annual ad campaign tradition. In fact, after record spending last year from 11 automotive brands, it is anticipated that only a handful will participate this year– the fewest since 2010.
Well, Jon Swallen– the chief research officer at Kantar North America– says, “Perhaps we’ve reached a breaking point. It’s like reaching a wall. At some point, you top out, and the last few years have arguably been the top-out point.”
Some brands have even spoken on the subject. In a statement to The Detroit News, Volkswagen said, “Volkswagen is a great fan of the Super Bowl, and it has been a strong platform for the brand and our campaigns. However, for 2015, we have opted to not participate due to other priorities and initiatives across all platforms. We hope to rejoin the Super Bowl when we feel it is appropriate for our brand.”
One brand that is getting in on the action, though, is BMW. In an early release, the German company debuted a 60 second ad on NBC’s “Today” show. Featuring Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric, the ad smartly compares the new technology of the BMW i3 to the early days of the internet, creating a parallel that implies that the i3 will one day become HUGE.
“In 1994, people had not yet grasped what the Internet was, which is similar to how electric mobility is viewed today,” said Trudy Hardy, vice president of marketing for BMW of North America.
When pitched the idea, Katie Couric couldn’t resist. She says, “When BMW offered me the chance to turn back the clock to 1994 and make fun of Bryant — and myself — I jumped at the opportunity. The tape doesn’t lie, we weren’t exactly visionaries back then, but thankfully in 2015 we are much more adept @ recognizing game-changing, environmentally friendly innovations like the BMW i3.”
Considering that the 13 only sold 6,092 units last year, it would be unwise to think that this particular model would have an impact anywhere close to the internet. However, in regards to automotive technology, we are truly entering the beginning of a whole new landscape.