Unlike in the past, most Super Bowl ads these days are released long before the big day and in the case of Mercedes, their teaser video hit the front of the queue last Thursday (21st January).

It was a move inspired by Volkswagen, who in previous years has gained a significant advantage through being first – the blogs and other media outlets needing something to discuss – but at least VW’s ads had merit. Mercedes’ teaser for the all-new CLA, ‘Kate Upton Washes the All-New Mercedes-Benz CLA in Slow Motion’, was derivative, poorly composed and failed to link the CLA with anything you or I might aspire to.

Despite it’s early surge in user views, the ad soon peaked. A shares/views yield of 0.5% from 5.9 million views is a paltry performance when compared with VW’s teaser from last year, ‘The Bark Side’, which achieved 6.10%. Top ‘viral’ videos such as TNT’s ‘A Dramatic Surprise On A Quiet Square’ and Ken Block’s ‘Gymkhana Five’ achieved 9.8% and 6.6% a piece, showing that the only reason for view count on Mercedes’ video is because it was first and it gave the media something to talk about. Once viewers saw it, there was little reason to share it with their friends.

Thankfully the competition has been tough in 2013, with Toyota’s ‘Wish Granted’ slugging it out with Volkswagen’s ‘Get In. Get Happy’, Audi’s ‘Prom’ and Mercedes’ big-game commercial ‘Soul’.

You can view every automotive ad in our previous post, ‘Super Bowl 47 kicks off the social video season for automotive brands’, but in terms of most-viewed and most-shared, we believe the contest will be between these four main brands.

The Reckoning

.shares.bs-docs-example:after { content: “Most Views/Shares”; }

Ad Brand Views Shares %Shares/Views
Get Happy Volkswagen 6,766,733 202,179 2.99%
All-new CLA ads – Soul/Slow Motion Mercedes 7,400,152 114,596 1.5%
Prom Audi 5,032,546 39,477 0.78%
Wish Granted (w/Kaley Cuoco) Toyota 13,250,179 17,775 0.13%
# Social shares data provided courtesy of Unruly Media’s Viral Video Chart. Data accurate as of 2nd February, 2013.

The first thing to note is how low the shares/view yield is, but that’s normal given that most social sharing occurs a month ‘after’ the Super Bowl game. Last year’s top ads (from VW and Honda) saw sharing activity of between 2% to 6% by this point, so it will be interesting to see if this picks up after the actual Super Bowl game (tomorrow).

Despite Toyota’s “Wish Granted” ad featuring Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco leading the pack in terms of views, it has yet to reach viral levels of shares – which traditionally we see as being at least 1%. Toyota’s performance so far is surprising since there’s nothing controversial or noteworthy about ‘Wish Granted’, apart from starring role by Kaley Cuoco (who has 1.1 million followers on Twitter and 0.5 million on Facebook). The low volume of social shares probably tells us that the ad has been mainly viewed by her existing fan base, whereas VW’s ‘Get Happy’ ad implies greater reach beyond the brand’s core social graph.

Volkswagen’s ad (like Mercedes’ Kate Upton teaser) has been mired in controversy – the lead character’s Jamerican accent has triggered some to claim it is racist, however a survey by NBC’s Today.com found that 93.1% of respondents did not feel the ad was offensive.

Video is the centrepiece of any good content marketing strategy, it conveys richer information than a static ad, which in turn leads to greater brand recall and familiarity which mimics the relationship-building process we experience in our everyday lives. Our emotions are built upon experiences, which in turn are shaped by the narrative of those experiences – building positive feelings toward a brand comes down to telling (short) stories which resonate, engage and hopefully create a lasting connection between with the viewer.

When you watch Volkswagen’s ‘Get Happy’ ad, you’re supposed to feel VW is a friendly car maker, a brand that’s able to laugh at itself and values the ordinary person. Mercedes designed it’s CLA ad to reach a younger audience, telling them they don’t need to ‘sell their soul’ to own the three-pointed star – there’s more of a cognitive rational appeal to its message but there’s still plenty of indirect influence going on with the appearance of Willem Dafoe, Kate Upton and Usher.

Last week, Unruly Media launched a new data-driven tool to predict the shareability of ads before launch. The Unruly ShareRank™ provides insight into the psychological, social and content triggers that affect the success of a video and how these generate an all-important peer recommendation.

In our next piece on Super Bowl 47, we’ll pick out some of the triggers which distinguish the winners from the also-rans. If you’re a marketer, you really can’t afford to miss it..

The Most-Shared Super Bowl Car Ads in 2013

First Published: Jan 28, 2013  –  

Toyota RAV4 2013 Big Game Commercial “Wish Granted” Starring Kaley Cuoco

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Published: Jan 23, 2013  –  

Toyota Game Day Teaser “I Wish” Starring Kaley Cuoco (Official)

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First Published: Jan 30, 2013  –  

Mercedes-Benz 2013 Super Bowl Commercial (Extended Cut): “Soul”

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Published: Jan 21, 2013  –  

Kate Upton Washes the All-New Mercedes-Benz CLA in Slow Motion (Big Game Teaser)

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First Published: Jan 27, 2013  –  

2013 Get Happy Volkswagen Game Day Commercial

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Published: Jan 23, 2013  –  

Sunny Side: 2013 Volkswagen Game Day Teaser with Jimmy Cliff (Get Happy)

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First Published: Jan 24, 2013  –  

Audi 2013 Big Game Commercial – “Prom” (Worth It)

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Also read

24th January, 2013: Super Bowl 47 kicks off the social video season for automotive brands (w/VIDEOS)