Super Bowl car commercials have become an integral and eagerly anticipated aspect of Super Sunday.
Enter the world of Super Bowl car commercials – a spectacle within a spectacle, where automotive giants battle for the spotlight with creative, heart-pounding advertisements. Year after year, automotive giants unleash their creativity and marketing prowess to capture the attention of millions during one of the most-watched events in the world.
These commercials are not merely about showcasing vehicles; they are cinematic experiences that aim to leave a lasting impression on the audience. Automakers leverage the grand stage of the Super Bowl to unveil their latest models, cutting-edge technology, and groundbreaking innovations, all wrapped up in visually stunning and often emotionally charged narratives.
So, buckle up as we take a joyride through the best and boldest car commercials that have stuck with us on Super Bowl Sunday.
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Volkswagen: The Force
One of the most iconic Super Bowl car commercials is Volkswagen‘s “The Force”, which made its debut during the 2011 game and quickly became an iconic and beloved advertisement that transcended the typical boundaries of car commercials. Time Magazine even went as far as to call it “The ad that changed Super Bowl commercials forever.” The ad cleverly combined humor, nostalgia, and the charm of a young Star Wars fan to create a memorable and heartwarming story.
The commercial begins with a young boy dressed in a Darth Vader costume, attempting to use “the Force” on various objects around the house, including the family dog and a sandwich. Despite his efforts, the boy appears to be unsuccessful, leading him to try his powers on his father’s Volkswagen Passat parked in the driveway. As the boy stands in front of the car, the engine miraculously starts, much to his astonishment. Unbeknownst to him, his father, watching from the kitchen window, had used the car’s remote start feature.
What made “The Force” so compelling was its universal appeal. The innocence and imagination of the young Star Wars enthusiast resonated with viewers of all ages. The commercial cleverly tapped into the nostalgia associated with the iconic film franchise while showcasing the product features of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat in a humorous and memorable way.
This advertisement not only showcased Volkswagen’s commitment to innovative marketing but also demonstrated the power of storytelling in advertising. By blending humor, relatability, and a touch of magic, “The Force” left a lasting imprint on the minds and hearts of Super Bowl viewers, solidifying its place as a classic in the realm of iconic commercials.
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Porsche: The Heist
Porsche returned to the big screen of Super Bowl car commercials more than two decades later in 2020 with an epic commercial, The Heist. The 60-second commercial unfolds a playful chase between nearly a dozen iconic Porsche vehicles, all sharing a collective sports car spirit. The star of the chase was the then-new 2020 fully-electric Porsche Taycan.
The iconic Porsche commercial was filmed in Germany, spanning picturesque locations like Heidelberg, the scenic Black Forest, and the Zuffenhausen district in Stuttgart, the very heart of Porsche’s headquarters.
The chase starts at the prestigious Porsche Museum, with numerous race cars, street cars, and a surprise vehicle all hailing from the museum’s extensive collection. Joining in the excitement alongside the Taycan in the commercial is the legendary 917 K race car, the 918 Spyder hybrid supercar, and the iconic Porsche 911 portrayed as a 2020 model, specially modified for closed-course stunt driving.
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Audi‘s 2017 Super Bowl commercial “Daughter” stands out as a poignant and socially relevant advertisement that went beyond showcasing the brand’s vehicles. The commercial addressed the issue of gender equality and challenged conventional attitudes, making a bold statement about the role of women in society.
The commercial follows the emotional journey of a young girl as her father reflects on the challenges she might face in life. The father narrates his concerns about gender inequality, acknowledging that despite her capabilities, the world may not always treat her fairly. Throughout the ad, scenes of the daughter participating in a soapbox derby are interwoven with the father’s introspective monologue.
As the daughter competes in the race, defying stereotypes and societal expectations, the father contemplates the importance of equal opportunities for women. The commercial reaches its climax as the father declares that he hopes his daughter will be valued not just for her appearance but for her intelligence and capabilities.
Audi’s “Daughter” effectively used the platform of the Super Bowl to engage viewers in a conversation about gender equality. The advertisement aimed to challenge and inspire, encouraging audiences to reconsider societal norms and advocate for a more inclusive and equitable future. By intertwining a powerful message with a compelling narrative, Audi demonstrated its commitment to social issues, showcasing how a brand can go beyond selling products to contribute meaningfully to cultural conversations.
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BMW: Zeus & Hera
Super Bowl car commercials are renowned for their unexpected twists, and BMW delivered a memorable one by featuring Salma Hayek and Arnold Schwarzenegger as none other than the Greek gods, Zeus and Hera.
The two decide to retire from their roles in Mount Olympus and make a new home in Palm Springs, California. While Hera seems to fit right into life as a human, Zeus finds himself grappling with the intricacies of mortal life. Reluctantly, he employs his divine powers to assist others in charging electrical devices, yet encounters challenges in navigating the complexities of everyday tasks such as operating a microwave and managing the electricity in his home.
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Enter the BMW iX, a gift from Hera to Zeus. The electric SUV recharges Zeus’ energy, and the divine pair cruises away, serenading each other with the 1980s classic “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant.
The iX stands as an electric pioneer, crafted to provide exhilarating adventures and impressive performance. In 2024, the BMW iX can accelerate from 0-60 mph in as little as 3.6 and exude a formidable power of up to 610 hp with a top speed of up to 130 mph. The all-wheel drive luxury electric SUV has a total range of 296 mi and 10 minutes of DC charging results in 90 miles for the iX M60 SUV.
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