Millions were spent on these ads, but not all of them hit the mark.
For casual fans of football, the commercials are the absolute best part of the Super Bowl. For gearheads the Big Game’s car commercials are usually a mixed bag. Sometimes the ads are epic or hilarious and the cars showcased drool-worthy. Other times we’re forced to watch a cringe-worthy spot about an economy car that is symbolic of an automotive dream deferred. Super Bowl LI, or 51, featured quite a few car commercials. Some were hits and others misses. Below are our picks for the best and worst car commercials of Super Bowl 51.
Best – “Dear Predictable” by Alfa Romeo: The Italian automaker aired three commercials during Super Bowl LI. This one featured the most driving of them all, showing off the Giulia QV’s delicious exhaust note and active front splitter! Americans now have the Alfa Romeo Giulia on their radars and that is a great thing.
Best – “Not So Pee Wee Football” by Buick: Buick’s self-deprecating reinvention ads can be too cheesy to watch. This spot starts out that way but is saved by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and supermodel Miranda Kerr. It's funny, and the Cascada actually looks pretty damn good, Buick or not.
Best – “Hero’s Journey” by Kia: Listening to Melissa McCarthy scream for a minute straight is grating. Still, Kia deserves props for poking fun at eco warriors in its spot for the new Niro. Most car companies go out of the way to appeal to eco nuts when advertising hybrids. Kia decided to make fun of them instead, a very gearhead move.
Worst – “Easy Driver” by Mercedes: Was there a commercial that fell flatter than Mercedes’ ad for the AMG GT Roadster? Could the Coen brothers, the directors, not have come up with something funnier than Peter Fonda pissing off some bikers? The smarter move would have been to let the AMG GT Roadster's performance and styling do the talking.
Worst – “Daughter” by Audi: Audi made a brave and progressive statement, advocating for equal rights and pay for women on the biggest stage in sports. Then the all-new S5 Sportback (coming soon!) was shown. We're all for automakers making statements and speaking out against policies, just not when they do it to sell cars.