Autometrics Pulse™ 2012 Super Bowl Advertising Effectiveness Report Reveals Key Insights for Automotive Advertisers

- Recently launched Chevrolet Sonic and Fiat 500 were among the biggest winners

- The third quarter saw the largest number of new car Prospects, with the peak being at 8:51pm EST shortly after the Seinfeld/Leno Acura commercial

- A major beneficiary was a model that wasn't specifically even advertised, the Acura ZDX

- Comedy works; high profile personalities do make a difference

Feb 29, 2012, 16:23 ET from Autometrics

BIRMINGHAM, Mich., Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Autometrics is the leading provider of automotive demand-centric, analytical data that enables its clients to track sales demand, media effectiveness and demographic trends at national, regional and market levels.  Autometrics announces the results and analysis of its annual Autometrics Pulse™ Advertising Effectiveness Report, which measures the effectiveness of automotive advertising that aired during the 2012 Super Bowl.  The full report is available for purchase from the website.

Autometrics Pulse monitored the effectiveness of those automotive commercials which aired on the day of the Super Bowl, and for the weeks following Game day. Data is collected from over 100 third party automotive sites and provides a daily census on new car purchase intent, typically from over 500,000 Prospects a day.  A Prospect is defined as a person who initiates contact with a local dealer for a price quote.

"Once again, Autometrics Pulse revealed some very interesting consumer behavior based upon the commercials which aired during the Super Bowl," said Stephen Shaw, CEO of Autometrics. "This year's crop of advertisements generated some of the most significant changes in sales demand in recent Super Bowl history.  Consumers made their preferences known by initiating the dealer quote process, and Autometrics Pulse captured that sentiment, minute by minute."

The "Halo Effect": Acura models are big winners, despite the NSX not being available until 2015

One of the most interesting twists to this year's Game was the Acura NSX, a vehicle that was advertised but not yet available, yet successfully drove a large increase in sales demand for other Acura models.  In particular, in the 10 minutes after the future model Acura NSX "Seinfeld/Leno" ad aired, ZDX demand rocketed.  Even a week after the Game, sales demand for the ZDX was still almost 50% higher than its January average.  All Acura models benefited, both on Game day and sustained thereafter, making this brand ad one of the most successful commercials of the evening, not only in terms of creative impact, but more importantly, in terms of sales demand for the brand and its models.

Referencing a competitor

The controversial Silverado "2012 Mayan Prediction" ad that referenced Ford trucks, presented an opportunity to contrast the impact on sales demand for the two models referenced.

Would Ford benefit from the ad? In short, there is no evidence that the F-150 benefited from Chevrolet's direct remark "Dave drove a Ford".  The Silverado 1500 had been enjoying its highest sales demand relative to the Ford F-150 since Pulse data was launched in 2008, with its all-time high occurring the week prior to the Super Bowl, when it generated over 40% more Prospects than the F-150.   The Silverado commercial saw interest in the pickup truck increase by 73% within 10 minutes of the ad airing, and while its share did decline in the days after the Game from the high of the prior week, it still generated one of its best ever performances when compared to any time in the past three years.  

Awareness: The impact of advertising new model names can be dramatic

The Chevrolet Sonic benefited from three Super Bowl ads and a coordinated campaign in the days afterwards, including advertising during the Grammy Awards.  This sustained approach succeeded in driving strong interest on Game Day, and moving Sonic's share of the Small Car Segment to over 6% a week after the Game, from 3.5% prior to the Game. 

Similarly, Fiat 500, in its endeavor to establish itself as a new brand and model, drove one of the highest increases in sales demand of any model advertised with its "Seduction" ad (from an historic average of 19% of the low volume Mini Car Segment, to 46% on Game Day and sustaining at 36% for the week thereafter). 

Humorous ads using high profile personalities (and dogs) catch attention

Not only was the humorous Acura commercial highly effective, but the Honda CR-V also benefited from its homage to Matthew Broderick's iconic 1980's film, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", lifting sales demand from an already buoyant post launch level, to even higher ranks. The decision to release the CR-V ad prior to the Game, resulted in a boost in sales demand on February 3rd, reaching a peak of 21% of the Compact SUV Crossover Segment on Game Day, up from 14% average during January 2012.

Under pressure to deliver a strong follow-up to last year's "The Force" ad, the Volkswagen Beetle's "The Dog Strikes Back" confirms how well humorous ads resonate with viewers, especially if a teaser campaign drives interest before the Game.  The ad resulted in both an early and sustained boost in sales demand (from 2.6% during January to 3.9% of the Compact Car Segment on the day after the Game and sustained at around 3.6% thereafter), proving again that children and dogs can be very effective advertising icons!

Brand and model ads can work well together

Hyundai chose to run five commercials, four model ads and one for the brand.   All of these ads were among the most successful on the evening.  The brand ad was second only to the Acura commercial, while the "Fast Acting" (Genesis R), "Think Fast" (Genesis Coupe) and "Cheetah" (Veloster) ads were all in the top six of model ads aired, in terms of immediate increase in sales demand. 

Brand building at Halftime, the Clint Eastwood way!

Chrysler Group adopted a different tactic this year, with its iconic Clint Eastwood "Halftime in America" commercial airing at the end of the Halftime Show, concentrating on corporate mission and brand-building messages.   This commercial clearly generated considerable interest and awareness, although without a specific model referenced, there was only a modest increase in sales demand for selected Chrysler Group vehicles.

Rock stars and models – a winning combination

The much anticipated Kia Optima commercial, "A Dream Car, For Real Life", was bound to resonate well with the target audience of male sports fans.   In fact, in the ten minutes following its airing, the Optima accounted for almost a quarter of all automotive Prospects tracked by Autometrics Pulse.  The model continued to enjoy strong sales demand, trending upwards over the subsequent 7 days, to a peak of 19.8% of the Mid-Size Car Segment on February 12th.

Timing of ads during the event

In terms of the timing of commercials during the actual event, the highest number of active automotive prospects occurred at 8:51pm EST, shortly after the Acura commercial aired.  Overall, the third quarter generated 1,896 Prospects per Minute (PPM) across all makes and models, followed closely by the 4th Quarter with 1,856 PPM, Half-time with 1,492 PPM, the Post-game with 1,489 PPM, the Pre-game with 1,414 PPM, 2nd Quarter with 1,405 PPM and finally the 1st Quarter with 1,331 PPM. 

According to Stephen Shaw, "Interestingly for the 2012 Super Bowl, Pre and Post Game commercials may have had more power than some of those that aired during the early part of the Game itself."

About the Autometrics Pulse Super Bowl Advertising Effectiveness Report

The full Autometrics Pulse Advertising Effectiveness Report provides tracking and analysis of the effectiveness of each commercial aired during the Super Bowl, with competitive and benchmark comparisons, and measures the sustainability of sales demand for the week thereafter.  The full report is available for purchase from the website.

About Autometrics Pulse

Autometrics Pulse™ is the first predictive sales demand indicator for new vehicle sales. It is a revolutionary product that enables "real-time" forward looking decisions via the recording and analysis of "Prospects", who actively start the process of contacting a dealer for a price quote across over 100 third party sites. 

Pulse data has been proven to be highly predictive of future retail sales.  Increases in "sales demand", as recorded by Pulse, translate into increases in sales in the weeks ahead, with approximately 75% of sales taking place within a 12 week period.

Pulse collects data from over 500,000 Prospects on a typical day, down to zip code level, enabling the tracking of demand trends at a national, regional and market level.

About Autometrics

Autometrics provides demand-centric data to enable clients to better track such issues as customer demand, media effectiveness, sales forecasting at national/regional levels, demographic trends and inventory management.

The primary focus is the US automotive sector, where it has worked with leading OEMs since 2004.  It launched the patent pending Pulse™ product in 2009 and Response™ in 2010, after several years of research and development.   The company has offices in Detroit and Los Angeles. For more information, please visit

Contact Information
Stephen Shaw, +1 248 930 9450,

SOURCE Autometrics