Automakers ready to react to Super Bowl ads public response image

Automakers advertising in the Super Bowl this year will be more prepared than ever to immediately react in marketing war rooms to feedback about their ads that promise to feature Muppets, British villains, patriotic themes and, of course, something secret from Chrysler.

This year will be the fourth in a row with a big showing from the automotive industry. Once again, automakers will use whatever they can, from canine to supermodel, to try and break through the advertising clutter and be memorable.

Volkswagen will have a staff of about 10 people from marketing and advertising, public relations and the legal department watching the game, said Justin Osborne, general manager of marketing communications for the German automaker. Its 60-second ad will air during the second quarter.

“We’ve set up a pretty robust war room,” Osborne said. “This year, I think there will be a lot more emphasis on real-time marketing and reacting to what’s happening at the game.”

Ford hasn’t run a commercial during the actual game for seven years for the Ford brand, but it’s hinting at big plans. The Dearborn automaker bought an ad for Lincoln last year. General Motors said in August it will return to the big game after benching itself last year.

This year, at least nine automotive brands, one automotive retailer and an automotive accessory company plan to flood the zone during the Super Bowl next Sunday. They include: Audi, CarMax, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Toyota and WeatherTech.

In 2013, automotive companies spent about $92 million on 12 commercials for nine different brands, according to Kantar Media, an advertising research company.

“Automotive is still a heavily cluttered category,” said Jon Swallen, chief research officer for Kantar Media.

Automotive manufacturers are attracted to the Super Bowl because they market their products to people across almost all age groups and demographics and are continuously rolling out new products that need marketing support. They have budgets large enough to be able to absorb the cost, Swallen said.