Dec 09, 2014

The Super Bowl, Ads and The Auto, Roads, and Fuel Industry: What's the Connection, or Disconnect This year?

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The automotive, roads, and fuels industry can be a pretty interesting place—especially when you factor in the millions upon millions industry leaders spend on advertising each and every year. So rather than discuss AWANE’s roll as an industry leader in providing its member with the best employee benefits, the best health insurance plans for small businesses, and the most up-to-date reporting on legislative news, industry trends, and workplace safety best practices, we’re instead going to discuss the Super Bowl.

We could probably talk about potential Super Bowl XLIX matchups all day, but instead, we’d like to examine a recent report regarding how the auto industry has applied the breaks to its traditional spending on Super Bowl advertisements—a move that has many in the business miffed.

Super Bowl Ad Buys Sluggish From Auto Industry

According to a recent report posted on Variety, automotive marketers are thinking twice about dolling out the millions of dollars it takes to be seen during one of the many breaks during this year’s Super Bowl. The report suggests that NBC, the network showing this year’s event, has eight to ten 30-second spots available for the 2015 broadcast, while the remaining 90% of inventory has already been sold.

NBC executives say the push to fill the ad space has been challenging to say the least—in part due to the lack of car sponsors who have traditionally vied for all your attention using massive amounts of advertising. One NBC executive said this year’s Super Bowl could have less than half of what the network saw in 2012—which was the last time the network broadcast the event.

A Historic Look at Super Bowl Ad Spending:

2011 — Six auto manufacturers combined to spend $77.5 million featuring 9 kinds of cars.

2012 — Seven auto manufacturers combined to spend $94.5 million on 12 different vehicles.

2013 — Six auto manufacturers combined to spend $92 million on 9 kinds of cars.

2015 — The results aren’t in yet, but all indications are that the ad activity from auto manufacturers is cooling.

So what is it that could be causing the slow down in spending by the auto industry? While we are left to speculate, the following could be some reasons auto dealers are sitting this year’s Super Bowl on the bench:

  1. Safety issue plague automakers appeal

Everything from issues with ignition switches and faulty air bags have car makers issuing major recalls, and are thus left scrambling to regain consumer confidence by putting bigger spend and time into retroactive repair work.

  1. Sales are down

The auto industry had the worst slowdown in terms of sales in the last year, according to this analysis of market trends. Fall sales lagged heavily behind the rest of the year, leaving disappointed auto manufactures watching sales end up in the red.

  1. Alternative marketing mediums are emerging

Many automotive marketers may be asking themselves the following: Is the juice worth the squeeze? Or in terms of the Super Bowl: Are the millions we spend really worth it? Alternative advertising opportunities online, such as YouTube, appear to be far more attractive than in year’s past.

This all could change as the year comes to a close and auto manufacturers begin to get a better idea of their year-end totals, as well as 2015 marketing budgets—but for now, this is where things stand.


At AWANE, we recognize how just how important the auto industry is to making the world go round. When it comes to our members, we do all we can to offer a host of different programs and products designed to add protection, value, and efficiency into their daily business lives.

Our blog is also filled with valuable educational resources, as is our AICC worker’s compensation coverage program. We also offer a variety of Health & Wellness Safety Tips to help you and your employees stay safe and productive in the workplace.

(Credit to Variety for supplying all of the information to help make this post possible).