EVs in the News: Super Bowl Ad Edition
As you were watching the Kansas City Chiefs become Super Bowl Champions via their epic comeback, you might have noticed something else that was being championed during the commercial breaks: electric vehicles. In fact, a historic four out of nine car ads shown during the Super Bowl were for plug-in vehicles.
Four major automakers spending millions of dollars to promote their EVs, and reaching millions of people, is a huge score for public awareness of electric vehicles. Several leveraged star-power to do so and all featured leads that challenge the traditional demographic of EV drivers. Let’s take a look at the ads and how each introduced the concept of driving electric in a different light:
Audi e-tron: “Let it Go”
Audi’s new ad campaign features their e-tron Sportback, a new version of Audi’s electric SUV coming out this year, and Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams singing the hit song “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen.
The focus here clearly combines both a message of sustainability while simultaneously positioning gas cars as part of an out-of-touch era. Maisie drives past gas pumps and cars spewing pollution while singing “Let it Go.” She is surrounded by angry drivers, trashcans overflowing with waste, oil-stained car mechanics, and an old rich guy yelling in the back of his limo.
Porsche Taycan: “The Heist”
In this Super Bowl ad, a supposed thief is able to steal an all-electric Taycan Turbo S from the Porsche museum in Germany, silently slipping out due to the quietness of the car. After setting off an alarm, the museum guards jump into other Porches and a high-speed chase soon ensues.
Porsche focuses on speed and performance here, leveraging the car-heist movie trope for excitement. We get to see an electric car zip across a bridge in Heidelberg, drift around corners, and drive backward at high speeds through narrow roads.
A tagline perfectly punctuates the end of the commercial: “Finally an electric car that steals you.”
GMC Hummer EV: “Quiet Revolution”
GMC goes for a dramatic teaser ad to introduce something that will surprise many consumers: an all-electric Hummer. At first view, you might think your speakers aren’t working, however, the ad plays scenes of footage that look like they would be loud, but the soundtrack is silent.
A herd of horses communicates “1,000 horsepower,” a crane instant lifting a massive load illustrates “11,500 pound-feet of torque”, and a motorcycle zipping down a highway says “0 to 60 in 3 seconds.” Finally, Lebron James makes an appearance as the personification of “pure dominance.”
Beyond that, the teaser doesn’t give away much. The only preview of the vehicle is its front grill emerging out of darkness, overlaid by the statement: “All electric, zero emissions, zero limits.”
Ford Mustang Mach-E: “New Breed”
Ford technically released this prior to the Super Bowl, but they paid up to have it featured, although only regionally, during the game. In it, actor Idris Elba muses about the new version of the Mustang as “a stampede unleashed 55 years ago.”
It’s a commercial that seems to go all-in on American spirit: “an icon built for freedom, the open road, power, and rebellion.” Throughout, we see comparisons of classic versus modern Mustangs, traversing both rural America and urban environments. In the end, Idris simply states that this electric car will be “something that moves us all forward.”
The fact that it’s all-electric is not the only new thing about this Mustang, it’s also a two-row SUV. The wagon-like version is roomier inside than the traditional version. Speaking of oddly spacious, apparently, the Mustang Mach-E can hold over 1,000 chicken wings in its 4.8-cubic-feet frunk (front trunk) that can be washed and drained, as demonstrated by a social media ad that Ford tweeted during the game.
Honorable Mention: Tesla
Tesla didn’t spend a single dollar for a super bowl ad, but in true Tesla style, they did manage to get free advertising. CNBC did a news report where they interviewed both Chiefs and 49ers players about one thing they had in common: their obsession with Tesla vehicles.