For the first time in 7 years, Audi won’t advertise in the Super Bowl. It joins a longer list than usual of automakers opting opt of the big game frenzy. GM, Lincoln, Ford, Jaguar, Honda, Acura and Volkswagen are also sitting on the sidelines.
“The Super Bowl has been a valuable part of the Audi marketing plan for nearly a decade,” Audi spokesman Andrew Lipman said via email to Adage.com. “While the NFL remains an important platform for reaching our consumers, we won’t be investing in the game this year,” he said.
For some automakers, the reason behind the decision is simply the timing of new car launches. For others cost is a likely factor since each 30 second spot is going for roughly $4.5 million dollars this year on NBC. As of now, six automakers, BMW, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Toyota, are expected to run ads during the game. In 2014 there was 11 different nameplates in the Super Bowl and the category accounted for over one-fourth of the total ad time in the game, according to Kantar Media.
The category this year has been a challenge for NBC, which will air Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, according to Seth Winter, exec vice president for sales and sales marketing for the NBC Sports Group and NBC Universal News Group. However, Winter’s says there will be about a dozen new advertisers in the 2015 game, especially in digital commerce and technology.
While GM will stay out of the ad game this year, it will still get its name out there. Like last year, Chevrolet will present the Most Valuable Player award. This year’s player will get the keys to a new Colorado mid-size pickup. Last year, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith was presented with a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country pickup.
NFL’s Big Game, which will feature the New England Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks, airs on Feb. 1 at 5:30 p.m CST.