The Ads of Super Bowl XLVI: Adweek's Preview

Auto brands will crowd the field again, but expect some fresh faces, too
About the Author

Tim Nudd is creative editor at Adweek.

The Super Bowl is fast becoming an auto show. And last year's record number of car-related spots have led to an even bigger haul this year. Expect close to 20 separate auto (or auto-related) commercials in the game—that's almost one-third of the total number of spots—from brands including Acura, Audi, Bridgestone, Cars. com, Chrysler, General Motors (Chevrolet and Cadillac), Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Acura and Lexus are first-time Bowl advertisers, and they'll be joined by a larger number of newbies than usual. Among them: tax-prep software 2nd Story, real-estate giant Century 21, yogurt-maker Dannon and retail clothing chain H&M.

Of course, the game will have familiar faces, from Coca-Cola and Pepsi to Anheuser-Busch, CareerBuilder, E*Trade, Go Daddy and Mars, this time pitching M&M's rather than Snickers. Volkswagen has the heaviest burden of having to live up to last year's intergalactic success of "The Force." And at first glance, Coke has the most interesting plans, with the plot of its second-quarter spot dependent on what's happening on the field.

Check out our Super Bowl hub here, where we'll have news and analysis all week long, a live blog during the game, and lots of post-game coverage, too. In the meantime, here's a run-down of what to expect on Sunday.

2nd Story Software1

Agency: J.W. Morton and Associates, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Creative: One :30 in the first quarter. The makers of TaxACT will emphasize that the TaxACT Free Federal Edition tax-preparation software is free for everyone.

Acura 2

Agency: rp&, Los Angeles
Creative: Jerry Seinfeld will star in a 60-second spot for the Acura NSX, with a cameo by Jay Leno. The extended version is posted above. Seinfeld tries to bribe a man who's ahead of him on the waiting list for an NSX.


Agency: Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco
Creative: The :60 above will air in the first break after kickoff. The 2013 Audi S7's LED headlights prove deadly for young vampires partying in the woods.

Anheuser-Busch InBev4

Agency: Anomaly and Translation, both New York; mcgarrybowen, Chicago; Cannonball, St. Louis, Mo.
Creative: Two stylish :30s for Bud Light Platinum by Translation. One :60 for Bud Light by mcgarrybowen, one :30 by Cannonball. Two sweeping, historical, connected :60s for Budweiser by Anomaly, with the Clydesdales.

Best Buy5

Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder, Colo.
Creative: One :30 celebrating the ideas and inventions of people who changed the course of mobile technology—the "rock stars of technology." The spot will salute people like Philippe Kahn (above), creator of the camera phone; Kevin Systrom, creator of Instagram; and Jim McKelvey (below), co-founder of Square mobile.


Agency: The Richards Group, Dallas
Creative: Teaser spot above. Two :30s in the second and third quarters. A football, basketball, bowling ball and puck made of Bridgestone tire material change the sports world. Tim Duncan, Deion Sanders, Steve Nash and Troy Aikman star, among others.


Agency: In-house
Creative: The :30 above. The brand's famous chimps make a business trip hell for a sad-sack worker, who could use a new job.


Agency: DDB, Chicago
Creative: The :30 above will air during the third quarter. A man sprouts a second excitable, soul-singing head after an inspirational visit to the auto site.

Century 219

Agency: Red Tettemer + Partners, Philadelphia
Creative: The :30 above will air in the third quarter, starring Donald Trump, Deion Sanders and Apolo Ohno, with Century 21 agents beating each icon at his own game.


Agency: To be determined
Creative: One 60-second spot. Model is not yet clear.


Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative: The polar bears return—one rooting for the Patriots, one for the Giants. An introductory :30 in the first quarter will be followed by one of two different :60s in the second (one of them is posted above), depending on which team is winning.


Agency: None (crowdsourced by Poptent, San Clemente, Calif.)
Creative: The :30 above will air in the third quarter for Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt, starring John Stamos.


Agency: None (consumer-generated)
Creative: Two :30s—the top vote-getters from among the five finalists in the brand's Crash the Super Bowl contest. One of the finalists is posted above.


Agency: Grey, New York
Creative: The :30 above. The E*Trade baby reassures a new dad about planning for his newborn daughter's future, with help from E*Trade Financial Consultants.

General Electric15

Agency: BBDO, New York
Creative: The two :45s shown here—one in the first quarter and one in the third—focusing on GE employees and how the company helps keep the economy moving and other businesses and whole communities humming.

Agencies: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; Fallon, Minneapolis; McCann New York and Detroit
Creative: Chevrolet plans to air three :60s. One is from Goodby for the Sonic. Another is consumer-generated for the Camaro. The third :60, an apocalyptic one, is for the Silverado. All three are posted above. Plus, Cadillac will air the :30 below, by Fallon, for the ATS sport sedan. An animated :30 for the Chevy Sonic (also below) by McCann will air right after the game's final whistle, featuring the voice of Hank Azaria.

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