Given the high stakes involved for advertisers, who pour millions of dollars into getting in front of billions of viewers, it’s no surprise that Super Bowl commercials are sometimes more impressive than the actual game. Not this time, however: The Patriots’ historic comeback and eventual overtime win made for what might have been the most exciting Super Bowl ever. So, just in case you’ve already forgotten about them, here are five of the most notable auto commercials from last night’s big game.
Alfa Romeo: Riding Dragons
Fiat-Chrysler went all-in with its Alfa Romeo brand during the game, delivering three commercials and also sponsoring the halftime show (the one with the FOX Sports guys, not Lady Gaga). The first of those ads, Riding Dragons, was the perfect stage-setter for the introduction of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia sport sedan. In Alfa’s telling, the company has gone back to its roots, yet also reinvented itself, to bring to life the “flying car” we all dreamed of as kids. Needless to say, that would be the Giulia, which gets displayed flying across the road to thrilling effect in the spot.
Mercedes-AMG: Easy Driver
It was Born to be Wild meets Built to be Wild in this ad for an all-new high-performance roadster: Directed by the Coen brothers – the same siblings behind The Big Lebowski – the Mercedes-Benz commercial is set in a typical biker bar where the only song on the jukebox is a certain Steppenwolf classic. But instead of the commercial being set in the 1960s, most of the bikers seem to be in their 60s. Nor do they seem too happy when they find out their motorcycles have been blocked in by a car. And if that 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster doesn’t get their attention, the owner does. It’s the original Easy Rider, Peter Fonda, complete with his Captain America leather jacket.
Kia: Hero’s Journey
What does it take to be a hero in today’s world, when so many of nature’s creatures need our help? Well, as Melissa McCarthy finds out in this spot for the 2017 Kia Niro hybrid crossover, a sense of humor comes in handy: She comes out on the wrong end of a close encounter with a whale – and a ship – and faces impalement from an unappreciative rhino. McCarthy doesn’t fare much better when she tries to bring attention to the melting ice caps, either. On the other hand, Kia’s ad fared quite well, with the highest ratings of any Super Bowl commercial in the USA Today’s 2017 Ad Meter Results.
A number of last night’s Super Bowl commercials also took a more serious approach to supporting positive values, and that included one from Audi. The Four-rings brand put its focus on equal pay for equal work, as a father watches his daughter compete against the boys in a soapbox-derby competition. While dad wonders how he can tell his daughter that most of the world still values men above women, she outwits and out-races the competition to victory. At the end, he realizes that if things keep progressing, “maybe I’ll be able to tell her something different.” Then they drive away in a sleek new 2017 Audi S5.
Hyundai: A Better Super Bowl
Hyundai’s Super Bowl spot didn’t run until the final touchdown had been scored, but that’s partly because it was filmed live, while the game was going on. What Hyundai did was to set up a viewing party for active service members at a U.S. military base in Poland. Three members were then picked for a special treat: Watching from inside a immersive media “pod” that created a 360-degree viewing experience. It was as if they were seated right in the stadium. Even better, the soldiers’ loved ones were, in fact, in attendance at the Super Bowl. The result was a virtual family reunion for all involved.