Scoring With Super Bowl Viewers Continues To Challenge Automakers, Kelley Blue Book Survey Reveals

Ahead of Super Bowl XLIX®, Only 24 Percent of Visitors Recall Any Auto Ads from Last Year's Big Game

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- With the Big Game just around the corner, carmakers are finding one thing tough to tackle: getting their high-priced marketing messages to resonate with viewers.

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According to a new survey by Kelley Blue Book's, competing for advertising attention during the game, as well as sustaining shopper attention, is an ongoing challenge for automakers, as evidenced by viewers' limited recollection of car commercials. The results support a continued downshift in auto advertising for this year's Big Game, a trend that's making headlines around the nation.

"Even though several automakers including Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are scheduled to advertise during the 2015 Big Game, it's still just half the number that advertised last year," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's  "This drastic drop in the number of automotive advertisers suggests that, this year at least, more automakers are finding the high cost of advertising in the Super Bowl is not justified by the results, especially when the spots don't necessarily resonate in the long run with car shoppers."

Kelley Blue Book, the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry, conducted a survey the week of January 5 among visitors to determine viewer opinions when it comes to automobiles and the Super Bowl. Of those surveyed by, only 24 percent remember any cars or trucks being advertised during last year's Big Game. As for the brands that made the biggest impression among the 24 percent, Chevrolet (33 percent), Ford (27 percent) and Dodge (13 percent) scored highest among automakers that consumers remembered having a 2014 Super Bowl commercial.

"Immediate sales aren't the object of these commercials; instead, the desire is to spin the brand's story in a compelling and unique way that will get talked about," said Nerad.  "Advertising during the Big Game may fuel a carmaker's profile and generate some immediate buzz, but unless that is sustainable, the high cost may not be justifiable."

Case in point: Maserati made a big splash during the 2014 Super Bowl, according to a survey conducted by immediately after the Big Game last year that found Maserati to be among the most memorable advertisers. But when the topic was revisited in the most recent survey, Maserati was among the least memorable, with only half a percent of viewers recalling that the brand even advertised at all during the Big Game last year.

"Whether this is a trend or a blip remains to be seen," Nerad said. "It wouldn't surprise to see more auto manufacturers back on the Big Game next year."

Of course, vehicles play a role in game day beyond advertising: Tailgating is a key part of the fun for fans, and they have preferences when it comes to which trucks they'd tailgate in, the latest Kelley Blue Book survey revealed. The Ford F-150 drove off with the prize for 31 percent of those surveyed, while 19 percent said they'd prefer to tailgate in the Chevrolet Silverado. Some 12 percent said the Toyota Tundra would be their top pick, while 11 percent would opt for a RAM truck.

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This survey was served to more than 1,000 consumers on Kelley Blue Book's from January 5 – 9, 2015. 

About Kelley Blue Book (
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry.  Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars this week.  The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies.  Kelley Blue Book's ranked highest in its category for brand equity by the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study and has been named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year for three consecutive years.  Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a Cox Automotive company.

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