Super Bowl hits and misses, according to Edmunds auto site

Porsche Taycan Super Bowl spot drove significant page views to Edmunds.
Porsche Taycan Super Bowl spot drove significant page views to Edmunds.

New models drive more eyeballs to car-buying platform as viewers seek more info.

Super Bowl spots for Kia Seltos, Porche Taycan, Audi e-tron and Genesis scored the greatest percentage gains on Edmunds, the automotive research and opinion site. 

One big thing they had in common, noted Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds, was that each commercial was for a new model, or in the case of Genesis, a brand that is unknown to most consumers.

"The Kia Seltos car looked really good in the advertisement," said Caldwell. "The brand is not necessarily known for SUVs so people are kind of interested that Kia has an SUV."

Porsche and Audi’s new electric models grabbed inherent interest. "Lots of people still don’t understand electric vehicles," she said. "You couldn’t watch the Porsche ad without taking a look at that."

Edmunds, the Santa Monica, Calif., based car-buying platform, compared Super Bowl Sunday desktop and mobile traffic to that of a typical Sunday. Kia Seltos scored a 147,969 percent gain on Edmunds’ Seltos pages during Super Bowl Sunday, making it the biggest spike by model. 

That has much to do with the fact that the Seltos was mostly unknown, so its baseline was all but starting from scratch. "I imagine that no one was looking at what Kia Seltos was in the last few months," said Caldwell.

The next biggest site-visit spike by model was achieved by Porsche Taycan at 40,830 percent and Audi at 24,122 percent.

By comparison, Jeep Gladiator’s Bill Murray / "Groundhog Day" spot and Hyundai Sonata’s "Smaht Pahk" commercial pushed views well below on the Edmunds’ site with gains of 9,467 percent and 6,982 percent respectively. 

These ads were critically approved and took the top two spots on USA Today’s Super Bowl 2020 Ad Meter, but they did not drive as many eyeballs to Edmunds as potential car buyers are already familiar with these nameplates.

On an automobile brand basis, the same point holds true. The new Genesis nameplate received a page-view lift of 182,343 percent on Super Bowl Sunday, bouncing off the Chrissy Teigen/John Legend "Young Luxury" commercial. Brand pages for well-known names, such as GMC, Kia, Porsche and Audi (in contrast to the model pages for the Kia Seltos, Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron) fell well below.

"Super Bowl ads go by quickly and people want to see more images, find out how much it costs, is it for sale at this moment," said Caldwell, pointing out the $5.6 million, 30-second spot investment was to create awareness and buzz in the first place. 

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