With many Super Bowl television viewers likely watching Sunday night’s game with a smartphone in hand, Autotrader, Cars.com, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book tabulated which automakers generated the most buzz with their TV commercials to their respective websites.
Analysts from the quartet of vehicle-listing sites reviewed site traffic associated with the OEMs that shelled out millions of dollars for airtime, including Porsche, Hyundai, Audi, Kia, GMC, Jeep, Genesis and Toyota. Turns out, these brands generated varying degrees of attention, depending on the site.
Let’s begin the Big Game rundown with Cars.com
Cars.com indicated results generated an average 1,646% lift to pages of the specific car makes and models, as well as an average 554% lift in automakers pages on the digital marketplace.
“The Big Game produces big responses on Cars.com,” said Brooke Skinner Ricketts, chief experience officer for Cars.com, in a news release. “Watching the game isn’t a static experience as millions of viewers now use multiple screens to experience the spectacle, which makes it possible for them to react to a marketing message immediately.
“Shoppers flock to Cars.com after automaker commercials to explore vehicles, read reviews and find a local dealer in their area. Were a trusted source of information in the car-shopping experience,” Skinner Ricketts continued in a news release.
Cars.com analyzed site traffic to advertised car model pages during a 16-minute window for each televised ad — eight minutes before each spot aired and again eight minutes after. Analysts discovered Genesis posted an astonishing 5,530% increase to its pages.
Additionally, each of the other brands pages increased, as well:
● Porsche: up 1,072%
● Hyundai: up 961%
● Audi: up 639%
● Kia: up 553%
● Jeep: up 336%
● Toyota: up 238%
Cars.com mentioned GMC teased the much-anticipated new Hummer EV, which is not yet available for purchase, but the company’s Super Bowl commercial did generate interest in previously released Hummer models. Cars.com reported a lift of 479% to used Hummer pages and a 26% jump to new GMC pages on Cars.com in the 8 minutes after the Hummer EV commercial aired.
Analysis from Edmunds
Edmunds analysts explained that they tracked traffic to brand and model pages on both its desktop and mobile sites during the Super Bowl to see which automotive ads were most successful in driving immediate shopper interest. They indicated the percentage lifts they found are compared to average Sunday traffic levels on Edmunds.
Edmunds indicated Kia’s “Tough Never Quits” ad promoting the Seltos proved to be the most successful ad of the night, driving traffic up by 147,969% to its pages on Edmunds during the game.
Analysts found Porsche’s “The Chase” promoting the Taycan drove traffic up by 40,830% during the game, and traffic to the Audi e-tron was up by 24,122% thanks to the automakers “Let it Go” advertisement.
On the brand side, Edmunds noticed Genesis garnered the most interest with traffic up by 182,343% during the game as a result of its “Going Away Party” advertisement. GMC came in second, generating a 9,408% lift in traffic during the game thanks to the automakers “First Ever GMC Hummer EV” advertisement.
“Ads featuring new, attractive vehicles or lesser-known brands generally tend to pique the most curiosity from car shoppers during the big game, and this year is no different,” Edmunds executive director of insights Jessica Caldwell said in a news release.
“It’s encouraging to see more automaker commercials during the big game this year than we have in years past: the fact that there are so many exciting and innovative new products hitting the market is a great sign of what’s to come for the industry in 2020 and beyond,” Caldwell continued.
Edmunds data also showed that the Jeep Gladiator and Hyundai Sonata produced significant lifts in traffic on Edmunds as a result of Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” and Hyundai’s “Smaht Pahk” advertisements during the game, generating a 9,467% and a 6,982% lift, respectively.
“The Gladiator and Sonata have both been on the market, so while they didn’t generate quite the same interest as newer models, the fact that they still drove pretty decent spikes in traffic on Edmunds are a testament to the humor and creativity of the advertisements,” Caldwell said.
“In the case of the Sonata, Hyundai made a particularly smart move in highlighting a lesser-known, flashy autonomous feature like Smart Park to grab shopper’s attention,” she continued.
Recap from Cox Automotive portfolio
Representatives for Cox Automotive also shared analysis on the impact of activity from their family of websites in connection with Super Bowl TV advertisement.
After automakers’ ads ran, analysts noticed Dealer.com saw a dramatic lift in website traffic with total visits increasing by 647%.
On KBB.com, analysts indicated the Kia Seltos saw the largest increase in traffic for models advertised with a 2,340% increase while Genesis received the largest brand lift with a 920% increase in traffic.
However, Autotrader saw the largest percent lift in traffic for the Porsche Taycan (874%) and a 410% lift in traffic for Genesis after the ad ran as well.
While Genesis, Kia Seltos and Porsche Taycan won for the biggest lift in traffic, Toyota took the top spot in the total model and brand traffic volume after the big game, driven by their Toyota Highlander Heroes ad, according to Kelley Blue Book.
Additionally, Cox Automotive pointed out the surge in OEM activities with eight brands represented as analysts said the amount was the highest number since 2017.
Across all advertisers, Kelley Blue Book computed traffic gains for the advertised models were at least more than four times than the average traffic levels of the comparison period.
“Automakers still see television, the NFL and the Super Bowl audience as important given the cost of producing these ads as the cost to place them, Autotrader executive editor Brian Moody said in a relase.
“The Jeep, Hyundai and Audi ads may indicate that the focal point is shifting to Gen Xers given the presence of a Game of Thrones actor, an actor for The Office and a beloved 80s movie. Based on this, there still seems to be plenty of lift in selling actual cars, television as a viable mass communication outlet and the growing depth of Gen X’s pockets,” Moody went on to say.