Super Bowl LV: Vroom, Ford, Toyota, GM tackle America’s TV screens

4 vehicle retailers share messages of hope, new products during commercial line-up

© Can Stock Photo / welcomia

From funny to serious to heartwarming, vehicle retailers will show new products or remind customers that they care about the community with their 2021 Super Bowl LV messages as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Auto industry spots feature online marketplace Vroom, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Toyota in messages aimed to highlight their relevance during the pandemic era, or to spark a feeling of hope. A 30-second spot during this year’s Super Bowl costs about $5.5 million and is expected to reach millions of homes — last year’s game between the Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers drew nearly 100 million viewers, according to published reports.

Here is a closer look at four of this year’s Super Bowl ads from car retailers:

1. Vroom: ‘Dealership Pain’

Vroom has once again taken a jab at dealership shopping in the online used-car marketplace’s first Super Bowl commercial.

The ad opens to a dark, horror movie type scene set in a dealership, with a man about to be physically tortured as he is pressured to buy a car. Just before the pain begins, he is whisked away to his sunny front yard as Vroom delivers his car “contact-free.”

Vroom Super Bowl ad | YouTube

The ad comes at a time when more people have turned to online car shopping with delivery during the pandemic, and pays homage to Vroom’s self-prescribed benefit — “never have to go to a dealership again.” Some of the most popular purchases on Vroom’s platform in 2020 were SUVs and trucks, teeing up the online marketplace to capture big-ticket buyers.

Vroom’s Super Bowl debut comes on the heels of the company’s announced intent to invest in marketing and technology after its June IPO and September 2020 follow-on offering garnered more than $1 billion. Vroom launched its “Never go to a Dealership Again” advertising campaign in 2020 with an ad featuring a couple walking through a carnival-style dealership and faced with clown-like sales and finance agents, before being abruptly transferred to their peaceful front yard where their car is delivered.

Similarly, Vroom’s “Sell us Your Car” ad uses the backdrop of an aggressive gameshow to depict a hassle-ridden process of selling a car to a dealership.

2. General Motors: ‘No Way Norway’

Will Ferrell sets out to “crush” Norway when it comes to electric vehicle sales in General Motors’ Super Bowl spot. Ferrell states that Norway sells more electric vehicles per capita than the U.S., something he won’t stand for.

General Motors Super Bowl ad | YouTube

In 2020, Norway became the first country in the world in which electric vehicles outsold cars powered by petrol, diesel, and hybrid engines, according to published reports. Electric vehicles hold 54% of the market share in Norway, where leaders aim to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025.

Joining the comedian and actor in a quest across the sea and land are actors Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina, who drive a GMC Hummer EV while Ferrell takes a ship to reach his destination. The ad’s ending message — “we’re coming Norway” — points to General Motors’ planned release of 30 new electric vehicle models by 2025.

In fall 2020, General Motors announced it would shift another manufacturing plant to produce electric models, and planned to build a fully electric Cadillac. The company plans to invest more than $27 billion in EV product development by 2025. “Climate change is real, and we want to be part of the solution by putting everyone in an electric vehicle,” Chief Executive Mary Barra said.

3. Ford: ‘Finish Strong’

Ford Motor Company showed support for COVID-19 patients, first responders and residents impacted by the pandemic in this year’s Super Bowl ad. The ad features scenes of COVID testing, vaccinations, celebrations, and a look at a brighter future to come as the world works to “finish strong.”

Ford Motor Co. Super Bowl ad | YouTube

Since the height of the pandemic, Ford has produced personal protective equipment to aid in the crisis response. The company’s #FinishStrong campaign aims to assist Ford in donating 120 million masks to underserved communities, and the automaker will be hosting mask distribution days at nonprofits and Ford dealerships beginning Feb. 18, according to Ford. The car manufacturer has also received patent-pending approval for a clear respirator mask, one it expects to work as well as the N95 mask.

The new ad is expected to garner about 325 million impressions in areas hit hardest by the pandemic, according to a Ford statement. “The data shows that we can save a lot of lives in the coming months by coming together as Americans and protecting each other. Our mission is to inspire people to stay safe. There is no bigger platform to do so than Super Bowl LV,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford’s Americas and International Markets Group.

4. Toyota: ‘Jessica Long’

Toyota took its message from the road to the water in this year’s Super Bowl ad to honor Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long, and show that “there is hope and strength in all of us.” Toyota is an Olympics partner of Team USA.

Toyota Super Bowl ad | YouTube

The ad shows Long swimming through key parts of her story, starting with her adoption from a Siberian orphanage as a baby, and ending with her smiling at her adoptive parents from the water as an adult.

Long, who was born in Russia, lives with a rare condition that required her legs to be amputated at 18 months old. She has won 23 Paralympic medals, including 13 gold, and 24 of her 30 world medals are gold, according to the International Paralympic Committee. Long is training for the upcoming Paralympic Games, planned for August in Tokyo.

Auto Finance Innovation Summit, the premier event for technology in auto finance, returns March 16-17, 2021, as a virtual experience. The virtual experience will offer the quality networking and education of past events, all through an online platform. To learn more about the 2021 event and register, visit www.AutoFinanceInnovation.com. 

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