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Pre-Release Scorecard: Auto Ads Have Most Buzz Heading Into Super Bowl

Will Cars Carry Game Day, or Do Unreleased Ads Have a Shot?

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Automakers appear to be reaping the most social-media chatter among Super Bowl advertisers that have released their commercials early, according to YouGov BrandIndex, a daily consumer research service on brands.

Volkswagen, General Motors, Acura and Audi have seen the greatest increase in buzz among adults 18 years and over, according to the YouGov BrandIndex survey, which interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of more than 1.5 million individuals.

The findings illustrate some of the new dynamics taking place as marketers reverse a long-standing policy of not releasing any elements from Super Bowl ads before they appeared during the game itself. With social-media use ramping up among the general population, however, more advertisers are attempting to harness consumer chatter to draw attention to their specific efforts -- rather than hoping an audience tuning in for dozens of big-budget Super Bowl ads will find one or another more appealing than all the rest.

Car companies make up the bulk of the top 10 advertisers generating the most increased buzz. Doritos, which has made great strides in recent years by soliciting ads from amateurs; GoDaddy.com, which has made hay with ads showing scantily-clad women; and Samsung, set to run a 90-second ad, are the only non-auto companies enjoying markedly increased buzz, according to YouGov.

Whether these companies win on game day remains to be seen. Neither Chrysler nor MetLife have made their commercials available publicly, but speculation is high one or both could make an impression thanks to use of actor Clint Eastwood (Chrysler) or dozens of cartoon characters (MetLife).

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