BURLINGAME, Calif., Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As weeks have passed since the automakers ran their Super Bowl commercials around the world, it is only now possible to know whether the ads worked to actually change consumer behavior. The advertising pundits have had their turn to assess the spots, but CarWoo!'s infographic of the effects of 2012 Super Bowl ads demonstrates that some automakers' commercials resulted in more immediate attention from in-market buyers than others. All of the data was based on new car configurations in the CarWoo! MarketPlace in the days and weeks preceding and following the Big Game.
Did the commercials change the behavior of car buyers online? Did celebrities and patriotism and rock n' roll succeed in getting people to shop differently?
In the downloadable infographic, found at carwoo.com/superbowl, CarWoo! presents the Super Bowl Commercial Winners and Losers. These advertisers saw more searches during, and after, the Super Bowl, compared to the industry average for that time:
"Since CarWoo! is currently a U.S.-only service, and our buyers are typically within four days of committing to a car, our marketplace is the perfect spot to test consumer reactions," said CarWoo! CEO, Tommy McClung. "Some makes, and even some specific models, saw huge jumps in buyer interest right away. Other ads may have more long-term effects, but it's clear which manufacturers won the interest of current buyers." Tens of thousands of in-market buyer choices were analyzed from The CarWoo! MarketPlace, tracking consumer interest in automakers who advertised against those who did not advertise.
Chevrolet Takes the Prize With 61% Increase: Volt is the Exception
Among the makes who saw a greater lift in interest than the control were Chevrolet, with a 61% lift, followed by Chrysler, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai and Cadillac. The Chevrolet Sonic is an example of one car that made out well after the Super Bowl. Buyer interest in the Sonic increased by 292% after the Super Bowl, compared with non-advertised Chevrolet models. Its commercial featured a montage of Sonic "firsts," such as "first skydive," "first kickflip," and "first music video."
Other advertised Chevrolets saw some lift, including the Camaro at 163% and the Silverado at 76%. The Volt's Alien commercial failed to scare up enough interest in the sales-declining, plug-in hybrid, and the model saw no increase at all.
Honda, CR-V and Matthew Broderick Didn't Show Up to Class
Other models didn't see anything close to the Sonic's 292% surge in interest. Not only did the Honda brand not have an increase in interest after the Super Bowl, but the CR-V, featured with Matthew Broderick in Honda's Ferris Beuller Reprisal spot, didn't see a rise in interest compared with other Honda models.
Clint Eastwood's Patriotic Coup?
With all the heavy watercooler buzz, Clint Eastwood's "Half Time in America" spot gave Chrysler a second place position after Chevrolet, in terms of generating consumer interest. Presented as a quasi-Public Service Announcement, the spot was more nostalgic, patriotic and just plain feel-good.
Ford Catches a Free Pass; Competitor's Ad Sends Customers to F-Series Interest
In a Chevrolet backfire, Ford was bashed in the Silverado's "Apocalypse" ad, but the Ford F-series saw a 37% lift in interest after the Super Bowl. "In this case, it seems that the competitor's jab slightly improved F-Series sales," McClung said. "Ford should be ecstatic. They spent no money and saw an increase; some of their competitors spent millions on ads and celebrities and saw no immediate returns."
Summary: Hits, Misses and Backfires
With these hits and misses, it's not always clear that 3.5 million dollars in Super Bowl ad money will translate into mass consumer interest. We've also seen that not all Celebrities can move the needle for automakers and that Celebrity Endorsement by no means insures success on the world's biggest advertising stage. At the end of the day, Seinfeld just didn't succeed in reminding us of the better financial times of the 1980-1990s. It's also true that pop culture references can fall flat: The Ferris Beuller 1980s nostalgia spot didn't move the needle. Patriotism proved to have an emotional effect with Clint Eastwood's call to national pride. And, finally, sometimes, your competitor's commercials may actually lift your own sales. With Super Bowl ad rates creeping up next year, automakers should keep some of these lessons in mind.
CarWoo! provides the online MarketPlace where buyers get great deals with no games and dealers are able sell cars online using their own unique approaches with a full understanding of the buyers through the CarWoo! transparent MarketPlace. Buyers remain anonymous, get great market prices, save a ton of time and dealers are ensured buyers who purchase within 3.5 days 80% of the time. As seen on The Today Show, CNN Money and other leading national media outlets, CarWoo! is the only true online MarketPlace for car buyers and sellers. CarWoo! was founded in 2008 by serial entrepreneurs, Tommy McClung, Erik Landerholm and Michael Young. With early funding by Y Combinator, CarWoo! is based in Burlingame, CA and is now funded by Blumberg Capital, Comcast Ventures and InterWest Partners, and others. Find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/carwoo and on Twitter at twitter.com/carwoo.www.CarWoo.com