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In the ad, the characters are shown taking over GM’s Detroit headquarters. Between one-liners, they sneak in GM plugs, including promoting its Ultium battery platform, which the company has touted as enabling the construction of a range of EVs at different price points. One scene shows a range of GM current and future cars and products, such as the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq, Chevy Silverado EV and a Cadillac concept car called the InnerSpace—an electric and autonomous luxury vehicle that GM debuted earlier this year at CES.
But the ad also pitches EVs more broadly as pro-environment, with Scott Evil noting that they can “reduce tailpipe emissions.”
The climate change messaging is party aimed at younger buyers who are “extremely purpose-driven and it’s important to understand the connection to that,” GM Global Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl said in an interview.
The ad in some ways relies on viewer recall of the “Austin Powers” movies—which were released in 1997, 1999 and 2002. (It's the second straight year a Super Bowl advertiser used an aging Myers creation; he reprised ”Wayne’s World” for Uber Eats last year.)
Asked whether the Austin Powers references might be lost on younger generations, Wahl said: “They have absorbed an enormous amount of content from the 80s and 90s and they are well aware of many of these things, and of course, it’s been in popular culture references. Even if they don’t get it, the story is pretty clear.”
GM is among several brands using the game to tout EVs, including Kia, BMW, Nissan and Swedish startup Polestar. GM also touted EVs in last year’s Super Bowl ad, which starred Will Ferrell. The automaker has pledged to pour $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicle development through 2025, while debuting 30 new EVs globally, with two-thirds available in North America.