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And the Best Auto Ad Of The Super Bowl Is...

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On: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 3:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

And the Best Auto Ad Of The Super Bowl Is...

Watching Super Bowl XLV, you probably noticed a few things. A: It was a pretty damn good game—something that you can't say about every Super Bowl. B: Commercials weren't really that great. Maybe it's just that they get so hyped (more hyped than the game itself in a lot of ways) that they have trouble living up to it, but I rarely found myself really impressed. C: Not only did it seem like there was a car ad or two every break, but car ads were some of the best ads of the night.

As predicted, Super Bowl XLV was a record-breaker. Averaging 111 million viewers, this year's Super Bowl beat out last year's big game, which averaged 106.5 million viewers, to become the most-watched television program in U.S. history.

And the auto industry really rallied to take advantage of that massive audience. According to Edmunds, auto companies combined to put out the most ads in a single category. Auto ads were nearly double that of last year's game, reflecting an industry in the midst of turnaround. Led by Chevy's six commercials, automakers like Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Hyundai, and Volkswagen had commercials during the game. And it wasn't just vehicle manufacturers; other automotive companies like Bridgestone and Cars.com also made an appearance.

Not only did the auto industry have a large number of ads, they had some of the most memorable commercials of the night. While my favorite commercials overall were from Doritos (that pug was just great), I won't soon forget the Chrysler mini-epic for the new 200. The two-minute-long commercial was a bit overdramatic, and I still have no idea why Eminem would drive a Chrysler 200 (at least give the man a 300), but it definitely captured my attention like no other commercial of the night. And major media outlets like Forbes and the Associated Press were calling it one of the most memorable, buzz-inducing ads of the night.

But there was one car ad that stood head and shoulders over Chrysler's spot in terms of popularity. The Volkswagen Passat commercial with the pee-wee-sized Darth Vader really won people's hearts. It was voted the #1 commercial of the night on AdBowl.com, with a rating of 4.37, and #3 on USA Today's Ad Meter (highest ranked car ad).

Meanwhile, Bridgestone's "Carma" ad (the helpful beaver) took the number 2 spot on AdBowl; Volkswagen's "Black Beetle" spot was voted number 5 and Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" ad came in number 8. The "Carma" ad was also number 9 on USA Today's meter, and Bridgestone's "Reply All" ad was in the top 10 on AdBowl (#11 on USA Today).

So what do you think about these picks? What was your favorite car commercial of the night?

I find myself disagreeing with many of the popular choices. I liked VW's Darth Vader commercial, but I thought the "Black Beetle" ad was more effective. It actually got me interested in the car rather than making me wish I was seven years old and could do stupid things like dress up like Darth Vader without looking like a psycho. Similarly, I thought Audi's "Release the Hounds" (luxury has progressed) ad and Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid "Anachronistic City" ad were entertaining and really made statements about their respective vehicles.

You can see those ads and any other you might have missed on your nacho breaks over at http://www.youtube.com/user/adblitz.


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