The Best and Worst Automotive Commercials of Super Bowl XLVI (2012)

The automotive industry DOMINATED Super Bowl XLVI’s commercial breaks! The majority of them were funny or clever and a few of them included some great celebrity cameos – everyone from Jerry Seinfeld and Adriana Lima to a Troy Aikman and Deion Sanders.

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the best and worst car commercials of the year. It’s not all of them, but it should give you a good overview of what aired last night.




Acura, 2012 NSX – When Jerry Seinfeld is in a commercial, you expect it to have characteristics of a Seinfeld episode. Thankfully, Acura and Jerry put together a great clip that even includes a repeatable one liner that your friends will instantly recognize. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this blurb. To those that have seen it, Leno!


Bridgestone, Performance Football – I’ve never thought of Bridgestone as the type of brand to create a memorable Super Bowl ad but this year’s ads were great. Of the two Bridgestone ads, the football version above is my favorite. Visit the Brdigestone Super Bowl YouTube page to view a few behinds the scenes videos and other sports videos like bowling and hockey.


Cadillac ATS, The Green Hell – Seeing the word Nürburgring and hearing the phrase “The Green Hell” should get a gearhead / petrolhead excited. From a technical perspective, this was a great commercial for automotive and racing people in the know, but for the average consumer, I image the Nürburgring references did very little to promote the ATS.


Chevy Sonic “Stunt Anthem” – One of my favorite commercials, the Sonic “Stunt Anthem” brings together the awesome stunts – skydiving, bungee jumping, kick flipping, etc. – Chevrolet did to promote the all-new Sonic. In addition to the stunts being 100% real, it’s always cool to see a video and think, “That’s one of my clients”. For behind-the-scenes content and to download two of the songs used in the Sonic stunt videos, check out


Fiat, Seduction – It’s sexy, funny, and most guys have felt this way about a car, motorcycle, or a gadget at least once in their life. I don’t think guys will be rushing out the door to purchase the 500 Abarth, but there’s no judgement from me if you replay this commercial.


Honda CR-V, “Matthew’s Day Off” – Based on the teaser video, I had really high hopes for Matthew Broderick’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off spoof. The flaw with this commercial is that when Ferris has four or five close calls with his parents over the course of the day (or 90 minutes), it seems plausible. But the same number of narrow misses crammed in a minute seems goofy and unrealistic. In some ways, this commercial takes the magic out of the movie.


Kai Optima, A Dream Car. For Real Life – Adriana Lima, Chuck Liddell and Motley Crue. I wish all of my dreams were like this. Well done Kia.


VW, The Dog Strikes Back – A flop compared to last year’s Darth Vader kid commercial. The first bit with the dog training feels similar to last year’s Budweiser / Clydesdale training commercial and any other time of year, this portion of the commercial would be a good ad. However, the Star Wars portion is disjointed and awkward. Perhaps, it was VW’s decision to make an okay ad featuring the dog so the Star Wars cantina debate seems relevant, but overall the Star Wars bit feels forced – no pun intended. Adding insult to injury, VW made a great teaser video.



M&Ms, It’s That Kind of Party – How can you not love the Red M&M?!? He’s funny, outgoing and he’s always down to party.


To view all of the Super Bowl commercials, click here.

Disclaimer: Chevrolet and Mars North America (marker of M&Ms) are clients of Weber Shandwick – my employer. This blog and the comments within are mine and are do not reflect the views and opinions of Weber Shandwick or its clients.

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