Super Bowl ad winners and losers - Which automaker saw the biggest sales increase?

Did the controversy surrounding Chrysler's "Halftime in America" ad translate to increased sales?

Although it is nearly one month after the Super Bowl, it seems that everyone is still talking about the commercials. YouTube announced yesterday that Chrysler’s “Halftime in America” spot was the most-watched Super Bowl car commercial on the site, but did these views lead to more sales? In short, the answer is no. So was the $3.5 million per commercial price tag worth it for automakers? Well, the results are mixed, according to the automotive website CarWoo!

Let us first examine the most talked about ad of the Super Bowl, Chrysler’s “Halftime in America” ad, which starred Clint Eastwood. Despite all the attention, both positive and negative, the commercial increased Chrysler sales by an estimated 26 percent. Although sales increased by more than a quarter, Chrysler finished a distant second behind the clear winner of the ad wars: Chevrolet.

Chevrolet, who did not abide by the less is more approach, ran an abundance of ads before, during and after the big game. The end result of this prolific line of attack was a 61 percent increase in sales. Making up this 61 percent was a sizable rise in Sonic, Camaro and Silverado sales. The three models saw a 292, 163 and 76 percent increase respectively.

In addition leading the pack in sales, Chevrolet can also tout a couple dubious distinctions. Despite the Volt’s Super Bowl ad, which employed the use aliens to explain the EV’s technology, Chevrolet saw no lift in sales at all. Aside from a zero percent boost to Volt, Chevrolet also inadvertently helped a rival brand, which did not even advertise during the Super Bowl. Chevrolet’s post-apocalyptic ad featuring a group of Silverado survivors who can’t find their friend (who was a Ford F-Series driver), actually boosted F-Series sales by 37 percent after the game aired. Ford saw sales elevate after it cried foul and threatened Chevrolet with a lawsuit.


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