According to Autonews, Hyundai, Audi and Toyota as well as Cars.com, an auto shopping Web site, are buying ad time during Sunday's NFL championship game, while the Detroit 3 maintain their low marketing budgets and refrain from advertising during the 2009 Super Bowl.
The last time neither General Motors, Ford Motor Co. nor Chrysler advertised during the Super Bowl was in 2001. But since 30 seconds for commercial time costs $2.8 million to $3 million at NBC, which is broadcasting this year's game, the decision of the Detroit 3 seems like a wise one during the tough financial climate.
"It's probably a good thing, considering where they are right now," said Gary Topolewski, a Detroit advertising executive who helped craft a Cadillac commercial that aired during the 2003 Super Bowl. "They have to be smarter in how they communicate," he added about the Detroit 3.
Apparently, it seems that GM has taken the decision not to advertise during this year's Super Bowl in September last year. "We did not have a major vehicle launch aligned with the game,” explained spokeswoman Kelly Cusinato.
Ford has also explained its reasons for skipping this year's Super Bowl. “It is a lot to invest for 30 seconds of very distributed eyeballs who primarily want to be entertained," confessed George Rogers, president of Team Detroit, which handles Ford Motor advertising.
Quite obviously, the first beneficiaries of Detroit Three's decision are Audi, Toyota and Hyundai. "Don't think for a minute that Hyundai, Audi and Toyota are not loving the fact that no American car companies are in America's biggest game," said Mike Bernacchi, a marketing professor at the University of Detroit Mercy.
In the absence of the Detroit Three, the automakers advertising during this year's game are taking advantage of their opportunity. Thus, Audi will promote its A6 sedan in a 60-second commercial, Hyundai will advertise its Genesis in a 30-second ad, while Toyota will advertise the new 2009 Venza crossover, also in a 30-second commercial.