Last year’s Super Bowl drew a significant number of auto advertisers despite a supply shortage that caused brands to think twice about spending big on marketing to spur demand. The game emerged as a tool to broadcast big electric vehicle investments by those shelling out millions of dollars to appear in commercial breaks, including Kia, BMW, General Motors and EV startup Polestar.
But this year—even as EV sales continue to rise—larger economic concerns are keeping automakers on the sidelines, including softening demand that is forcing more execs to scrutinize budgets.
“Clients are being very cautious about how much they spend,” said one ad agency executive who works on automotive and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Does it make sense to frontload the year with a big Super Bowl ad? Probably not.”
So far only one auto brand—Kia—has confirmed an ad buy in the Feb. 12 game on Fox. And while more automakers are likely to jump in, it seems nearly certain that category spending on the game will be down from last year, when six automakers ran a total of eight ads.