The Big Game was not only a fierce competition between the top two professional football teams, it was also a battleground for the five automakers that ran a combined six commercials during the game on Sunday, tallying six minutes and 30 seconds in total airtime. Leading automotive digital marketplace Cars.com ) analyzed site traffic throughout the evening to determine which auto ads generated the greatest amount of online car-shopping activity during game time. The results show a 384 percent combined lift in traffic to the automakers’ brand pages on Cars.com that advertised during the game.
“Our site analytics prove that millions of fans use a second screen to visit Cars.com during major live televised events like the Big Game to research, shop and connect with dealers in real-time — and we’re there to help get them over the goal line,” said Brooke Skinner Ricketts, chief marketing officer at Cars.com. “With 19 million ready-to-buy consumers coming to our site each month, we have an eagle eye’s view on car-shopping behavior across every state and auto brand. Shoppers are coming to Cars.com after seeing automaker ads on TV looking for unbiased information, trusted pricing tools, and the power to easily cross-shop multiple makes and models.”
Of the automakers that invested in airtime during the game, Hyundai ranked No. 1 in traffic to Cars.com. Within eight minutes of its commercial airing, visits to Hyundai brand pages on Cars.com saw an 1,831 percent increase in comparison to the same time period prior to the airing of its spot.
Here’s the full ranking of automakers that advertised during the game and the resulting impact on online shopping activity on Cars.com:
1. Hyundai: 1,831%
2. Mercedes-Benz: 720%
3. Audi: 691%
4. Toyota (after RAV4 Hybrid commercial): 225%
5. Toyota (after Supra commercial): 138%
6. Kia: -14%
Mobile visits also continued to grow throughout the game, with 74.2% of visits coming from a mobile device during the game, up from 69.2% before the game started. Cars.com reported on its Q3 2018 earnings call that 68 percent of its network traffic comes from a mobile device.
Vegans were not happy with the reference to Vegan dinner parties, “Hyundai’s Superbowl ad should not have made fun of vegan food – it is the one diet that can help our health, help the planet & help the environment,” commented a Facebook user.
Hyundai Tweeted it’s Beetloaf recipe which has its greatest ingredient is 2.5 cups of brown rice.
Cars.com site traffic data was collected in real-time, and performance of TV commercials were measured by comparing the eight minutes immediately before and after each commercial aired.
On the other side of the web Edmunds.com announced it’s research.
While the big game may not go down as the most exciting in recent memory, ads for flashy new vehicles from Audi and Toyota generated excitement from car shoppers on Edmunds. Audi’s “Cashew” ad promoting the e-tron lineup was the most successful ad of the night, boosting traffic to the e-tron GT by 13,578 percent, and helping Audi enjoy the most traffic growth of any advertised brand, up 116 percent. Toyota’s “Wizard” ad was also a big success, with traffic to Supra pages also up more than 13,000 percent.
Edmunds analysts tracked traffic to brand and model pages on both its desktop and mobile sites during the game to see which automotive ads were most successful in driving immediate shopper interest. Percentage lifts are compared to average Sunday traffic levels on Edmunds.
“Even as automakers explore new ways to use the buzz around the big game to grab the attention of car shoppers, our data continues to prove that the traditional broadcast spots still have a place,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis. “A commercial that both entertains and shows a car people have never seen before tends to be the winning formula to entice people to go online immediately to learn more. Even though base size does play a role when looking at website traffic lifts like this, the fact that Audi and Toyota were so successful in getting immediate interest shows that they’re clearly doing something right.”
Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Kia also benefited from this phenomenon, as their ads featuring the brand new Palisade, A-Class and Telluride also enjoyed significant traffic spikes on Edmunds. Hyundai had the second highest lift at the brand level, up 50 percent, while Mercedes enjoyed a 38 percent lift as a brand and a more than 1,600 percent lift for the A-Class. Shopper traffic to the Kia Telluride was up nearly 2,000 percent.
Brands With the Highest Lifts in Traffic on Edmunds During the Game
Models With The Highest Lifts in Traffic on Edmunds During the Game
Audi e-tron GT
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid