Super Bowl

With Mercedes Buy, Automakers' Super Bowl Begins to Take Shape

Mercedes-Benz Will Air One Spot in the Big Game

By Published on .

Automakers' plans for the Super Bowl in February are beginning to emerge.

Mercedes-Benz has bought time in the big game, according to Donna Boland, a spokeswoman for the company. The news was reported earlier Friday by the New York Times.

It will be Mercedes' third time advertising in the Super Bowl, having last appeared in the game in 2013 and sitting out 2014.

Mercedes-Benz is not an annual advertiser in TV's biggest spectacle, only buying time there when it has something specific to promote, Ms. Boland said, noting that the Super Bowl is appealing for generating broad awareness.

The marketer's previous two appearances in the Super Bowl were 60-second spots, and it is likely to stick to form this time around. Ms. Boland said the concept for the creative has not been finalized.

In 2013, Mercedes' Super Bowl commercial, "Soul," featured actor Willem Dafoe, R&B singer Usher and model Kate Upton.

Several other auto companies with recent Super Bowl appearances, on the other hand, have chosen to sit out of the upcoming big game. Both Jaguar and Lincoln will take a pass this time around, as well as auto sites Cars.com and CarMax.

Jaguar ran its first Super Bowl commercial in 2014, its "British Villains" campaign, which promoted the launch of its F-Type Coupe. This time Jaguar does not have a major launch timed for the beginning of the year, so it has less reason to shell out for the Super Bowl.

"For a luxury brand like Jaguar, large scale advertising platforms, such as the Super Bowl, make sense when aligned with the timing of major new model launches," a spokeswoman said via email.

Lincoln also is passing on the 2015 game, despite several high-profile campaigns in recent years, Matt VanDyke, director of Global Lincoln told Automotive News.

As in the case of Jaguar, Mr. VanDyke said that although the game's massive audience is attractive, Lincoln's launch plans don't line up well to support spending millions of dollars on a Super Bowl ad this February.

"The game makes a lot of sense as a marketing platform. It's got incredible reach, it's compelling, it's got people who are tuned in to literally watch advertising so there's a ton of merit to it from a marketing perspective," Mr. VanDyke said. "For us, we considered being back in the game, but it's going to be driven by what our launch activities are … and that's not the area of time where we need to focus this year."

Also passing on next year's game, which will air on NBC on Feb. 1, are Cars.com and CarMax. While Cars.com also sat out of the 2014 Super Bowl after six consecutive years in the game, CarMax aired one 30-second spot called "Slow Clap."

Ad time for this year's game is costing some advertisers around $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, according to media buyers.

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