The Real Winners of Super Bowl XLIX: The Car Commercials

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Super Bowl ads are a big hit.

Is there anything better than a good Super Bowl game? Sure, we’re disappointed when our team doesn’t win (why did they pass the ball instead of running it in?) and sure we maybe regret a few too many wings and hot dogs and spinach dip. But it was an exciting game, when the players were playing, when Katy Perry was singing, and when the car commercials were on.

Super Bowl

Admittedly, I was watching the car commercials more intently because I was participating in the Volvo Interception contest where I’m still hoping to win a new car for my well-deserving neighbor. But I was also watching because collectively, everyone on Twitter (or it just seemed like everyone) was tweeting about those ads.

What I found is that car companies are touching on something that women already know. Life happens in cars. It’s part of our every day, our history, our milestones, and even our humor. Here are some of our favorites.

1. A little #DodgeWisdom

By far my favorite, this commercial found the perfect balance of pride and emotion as Dodge celebrates 100 years. Simply by asking men and women who share the same “anniversary” as Dodge, we found that being old can be a pretty good thing, especially when it comes to wisdom.

Favorite line: “Keep your eyes open and sometimes your mouth shut.”

2. Nissan #WithDad

I’m wondering if I asked you about this commercial today if you could easily remember which brand it was for. But you’d definitely remember it. Listening to the Harry Chapin classic, “Cat’s in the Cradle” as the background song, there were definitely some mixed messages. The lyrics talk about a dad who never found time for his son and his son grew up to never find time for his dad.

Based on women tweeting during the Super Bowl, this Nissan ad didn’t resonate well. While we felt the emotion, many walked away wondering if a father being separated from his son is okay because he’s a race car driver. It’s clear where they were going but I’m not sure if the ad pulled it off.

3. Toyota #MyBoldDad

If Nissan missed the mark with women, Toyota totally nailed it. Watching an average dad take care of his little girl and then letting her go at the end of the commercial with clear blue eyes full of tears made us extremely verklempt. I tried to deny it but that one got me right here.

And then he drove away in his bold new Toyota Camry. YES, WE ALL WANT TO BUY OUR MEN A TOYOTA CAMRY NOW.

Side note: in case you were wondering, the actress in the commercial may look familiar. It’s Madeline Brewer, better known as Tricia, the junkie on Orange is the New Black.

4. BMW i3’s Newfangled Idea

Even if you’re a younger demographic and can’t imagine life before Internet, you’ll love this commercial with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel reprising their role as the dynamic duo from The Today Show. It’s hard to believe in 21 years that we’ve gone from “What is Internet?” to “Where is the engine?”

Nostalgia and humor will always win in my book but combine them and you’ve got commercial gold. Nicely done, BMW.

5. The Getaway in the Kia Sorento

While some ads clearly played on the emotions of women and others brought out the testosterone in men, a few car companies found even footing when appealing to both. Bring in James Bond, some secret spy special effects and a hot woman at the end, and you’ve hooked the men. Bring in Pierce Brosnan winking at an owl while driving up a snowy mountain for a romantic getaway, and you’ve sold the women.

Admittedly, I still see my James Bond in a sexy sports car but the Kia‘s nice too.

Overall, the car commercials were what we expected them to be: raucous humor (hello, Fiat), sappy (yes, you, Toyota), powerful (yahoo, Chevy), global (that’s right, Jeep). But mostly, they were simply entertaining and almost helped us forget that unforgettable moment at the end of the game.

Did you have a favorite? We’d love to hear which car commercial revved your engine.

A self-proclaimed "chick who digs cars," Fadra has long been a fan of aesthetics over mechanics. When she's not... More about Fadra Nally