As in previous years, automotive brands will be competing hard for our attention during Super Bowl weekend, but the real prize for advertisers starts long before the Big Game kicks off on February 2nd.

In 2012, 12 automotive brands spent a staggering US$94.5 million on just 16 TV spots reaching over 166 million people. Online their reach was extended by a further 69 million views, while in 2013 the number of automotive ads exceeded 17.

SEE ALSO: Super Bowl 47 kicks off the social video season for automotive brands

According to social video agency Unruly Media, the video ads released in 2013 attracted almost twice as many shares online as the previous year.

They’ve created a helpful infographic packed with some of the more interesting stats, but the first thing which stands out is the dominance of the automotive sector, with Volkswagen top of the tree with its pint-sized Darth Vader ad, ‘The Force’. Since 2011, they’ve accumulated 67 million views and a sizeable 5.2 millions shares – providing a total yield of 7.8%.

Although Super Bowl itself is just a football game, the online traffic it drives makes it the most significant event of the year for brand marketers. 60% of the most shared ads of all time were launched before Super Bowl Sunday, while 7 of the top 20 most shared ads from Super Bowl 2013 were supported by teasers.

The reason is simple, apart from the boost provided by over 100 million TV viewers, the ads themselves are the epitome of what we call ‘native content’ – high-quality entertainment with product promotion playing second fiddle.

The best ads tend to be either funny (Volkswagen – “Get In. Get Happy.”) or emotional (Ram Trucks – “The Farmer”). In both cases they made a powerful connection with audiences who subsequently owned the message and shared its content.

We’ll use this post to keep tabs on all the ads, then in a fortnight from now we’ll summarise how they performed.

SEE ALSO: Super Bowl 47 Car Ads – the post-game reckoning

The ads

The main automotive brands competing for attention this year include; Jaguar, Volkswagen, Audi, Carmax, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia and Toyota.

First Published: Jan 11, 2014    

Jaguar: “Rendezvous: The Set Up” Teaser

They say: This year sees Jaguar joining the fray and using Super Bowl to launch the new F-TYPE Coupé. The ad features British actors Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong as a trio of British villains who star in Jaguar’s cinematic “Rendezvous” spot, filmed by Oscar-winning British director Tom Hooper.

“Now, do we have your full attention? Excellent. Our gents have the character, intelligence and sheer determination to turn the world upside-down. These eminently admirable qualities are also present across the Jaguar R Performance line-up – and exemplified in a new British villain. Also known as the F-TYPE R Coupe.” Visit the British Villains microsite.

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First Published: Jan 23, 2014    

Audi: “A Special Message from Sarah McLachlan” Teaser

They say: Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan stars in Audi’s Super Bowl teaser, designed to raise awareness of the ‘Doberhuahua’ mongrel – a creature who needs your help. The full game-day ad will eventually promote the new Audi A3, so it will be interesting to see how they turn around this slightly disturbing trailer to help sell more cars.

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First Published: Jan 22, 2014    

Carmax: “Slow Bark” Puppy Version of Big Game Commercial

They say: Soppy, predictable but surprisingly popular so far. There’s a ‘human’ version called “Slow Clap” which is even more cheesy. Carmax are a Fortune 500 listed car retailer based in Richmond, Virginia.

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First Published: Jan 21, 2014    

Toyota Highlander: Big Game Trailer starring The Muppets

They say: Toyota’s trailer features US actor Terry Crews being car-jacked by Rowlf from the Muppets. According to Toyota’s ad men “One boring man, in a world full of boring choices, makes a stop that will change his life forever. In the all-new Toyota Highlander, the Big Game will be anything but boring. #NoRoomForBoring”.

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First Published: Jan 20, 2014    

Volkswagen: German Engineers Create The Ultimate Game Day Commercial

They say: In a little over 3 days, Volkswagen’s big-game teaser has already left the others behind – with over 800,000 views and 9,000 social shares it’s already more successful than all the other car ads put together. The premise is simple, “The precision of German engineering makes great cars. Why not great commercials? See what happens when Volkswagen engineers develop an algorithm to create the ultimate Game Day commercial, featuring Carmen Electra, babies, puppies, Wang Chung and more. It’s a sure fire recipe for advertising success. Or not.”

Try not to laugh when you see it..

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First Published: Jan 23, 2014    

Kia: K900 Sedan, Big Game Teaser

They say:Kia have brought back American actor Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus (from “The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions”) to help promote its new K900 flagship saloon. The campaign theme is “Experience a New Reality” but judging by the teaser the ad will be all too traditional.

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