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Bringing out the big guns for the big game

Automobile makers' Super Bowl ads range from sexy to funny

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This year, automakers will return to the Super Bowl broadcast in full force, hoping to make big impressions with their cars.

Mercedes-Benz has enlisted supermodel Kate Upton in an ad and Lincoln has employed comedian Jimmy Fallon, while Kia appears to be dumping sex appeal for family fun.

Many automakers are trying to build buzz through teaser ads and social media campaigns.

Here's a rundown of what we know so far.

AUDI

For the first time in Audi's history, the brand will let the public select which Super Bowl spot they'd like to see run during the big game.

The German luxury brand, returning to the Super Bowl for the sixth consecutive year, has three versions of its 60-second ad.

CHRYSLER

Chrysler has purchased airtime, but has declined to reveal any details about the amount of time or the number of commercials it is planning.

Chrysler is coming off of back-to-back blockbuster ads. In 2011, Chrysler made its mark as the first automaker to air a two-minute Super Bowl spot featuring Eminem and the "Imported from Detroit," tagline, and in 2012 the automaker created a political stir with Clint Eastwood in "Halftime in America."

CARS.COM

This online car shopping site wants to capture a larger number of vehicle purchasers by convincing people it offers a "no drama" way of buying a car. It has released a teaser ad that has plenty of drama.

FIAT

Like last year, there is a good chance Fiat will again employ a combination of humor and sex appeal in a 30-second spot.

One option under consideration for the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio shows a woman on a beach with a black scorpion crawling on her back. Fiat has other options as well, an ad titled Sisters and one titled, Date.

FORD & LINCOLN

Ford hasn't advertised in the Super Bowl for several years and won't be there this year either, but Lincoln is a different story.

Jim Farley, Ford's executive vice president of global marketing, doesn't believe the Super Bowl is a wise place for mainstream, established brands to spend their money.

Lincoln will be in the Super Bowl for the first time ever with a 60-second spot crafted by comedian Jimmy Fallon.

GENERAL MOTORS

GM, historically one of the Super Bowl's biggest spenders, decided last spring to skip this year's big game, confusing analysts who thought it would be a great opportunity to promote the new Chevrolet Corvette or the new Chevrolet Silverado.

HYUNDAI

In its sixth consecutive year as a Super Bowl advertiser, Hyundai said it has five game-day ads, including four all-new spots, planned.

The Korean automaker has again secured a 60-second commercial just before the kickoff. Two additional 30-second commercials will air during the game and two will be broadcast during the pregame show.

Hyundai's commercials will highlight its Santa Fe crossover, Sonata Turbo full-size sedan and Genesis R-Spec luxury sedan.

KIA

Kia has purchased a 30-second and a 60-second spot. At least one of the spots will feature the redesigned Sorento crossover.

According to Kia, its Super Bowl commercial "will present an answer to an age-old question that has left generations of parents stuttering and searching carefully for words to help them escape an awkward yet truthful situation."

MERCEDES-BENZ

Mercedes-Benz has enlisted supermodel Kate Upton and music star Usher to appear in its advertisement to launch its new, entry-level CLA-Class sedan.

The 60-second ad, which will air during the fourth quarter, will reveal the price of the car.

Mercedes is using an extensive social media campaign to build buzz for its ad. The German automaker has released six different teaser ads, including a sexually suggestive commercial with Upton watching several guys wash a car.

TOYOTA

Actress Kaley Cuoco, star of CBS show The Big Bang Theory, will be featured in Toyota's commercial for its RAV4 crossover.

VOLKSWAGEN

Volkswagen is returning to the Super Bowl for the fifth consecutive year.

Volkswagen's The Force, in 2011, and The Dog Strikes Back, in 2012, are among the most memorable and critically-acclaimed commercials from the automotive industry in recent years.

This years' ad "will build on the brand's tradition of sharing simple, human stories," Volkswagen said.

-- Detroit Free Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 1, 2013 E2

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