Toyota’s move also signals that the auto category could be light in this year's game. Kia is the only automaker to confirm a buy so far and Nissan and BMW, which ran spots in last year’s game, have already confirmed they are out. Polestar, an EV startup that ran an ad last year, is also not expected to return. Hyundai, a one-time regular Super Bowl advertiser, will sit out its third straight year, although it will run new ads in the AFC and NFC championship games. Ford, which has not run a Super Bowl ad since 2017, will stay on the sidelines, too, as will Honda, which also ran its last Big Game spot in 2017.
Also sitting out the Big Game are used car retailers CarMax, Vroom and Carvana (the latter two ran spots in 2021).
General Motors, a regular Super Bowl advertiser in recent years, has not responded to multiple inquiries about its 2023 plans. Other auto brands to watch include Stellantis, which typically reveals its decision closer to the game. The company last appeared in the 2021 game with an ad for Jeep starring Bruce Springsteen.
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Oftentimes, auto brands make buying decisions around the timing of vehicle launches. When Toyota sat out the game in 2017, executives said the game did not align with launch activities for newer models, which that year did not begin until the spring and summer.
In recent years, supply chain constraints have played into ad-buying decisions as a shortage of microchips crimped supplies. However, several brands—including GM— in the past couple of games bought ads to tout higher-level corporate aims such as plugging investments in electric vehicles.
Toyota last year was one of the only auto brands that did not use the game to tout EVs. It ran two ads—one told the story of two Paralympian brothers (Toyota is a sponsor of the games); and the other spot plugged the all-new Tundra with a-celebrity-filled ad that included Tommy Lee Jones.