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Automotive Super Bowl commercials sneak peek

OK, I admit it, unless the Chicago Bears are in the Big Game (which isn’t likely in the near future), I watch the Super Bowl for the advertisements. They’re often clever and creative, sometimes emotional but always entertaining.

According to Variety, advertisers will pay more than $5 million for a 30-second spot during Super Bowl LI. Thus, it’s no surprise that advertisers bring in big names like the Coen Brothers or Melissa McCarthy to hock their wares.

We’ve scouted out the automakers advertising during the game this year, and we’re offering a sneak peek at what you’ll see between plays. Some of the smarties are only showing teasers, and we’re sure there will be some automakers that will surprise us with a spot we weren’t expecting. So, here’s what we’ve got now, and stay tuned for updates:

Kia: The perils of being an eco warrior

In its 1-minute Super Bowl spot, Kia brings in comedienne Melissa McCarthy who apparently needs to stop answering hands-free phone calls in her 2017 Niro. She finds herself in humorous (albeit impossible) situations trying to save the world, and her special brand of slapstick humor is sure to bring a few barks of laughter. Also funny: Don’t miss the 30-second teasers leading up to the full spot that showcase Niro tech such as roadside assistance, back-up camera and heated/cooled seats.

Mercedes-AMG: Still looking good

Mercedes goes old school this year with a spot called “Easy Rider,” which is directed by the Coen Brothers. Background music is Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild,” and the cameo is by Peter Fonda. The car: The Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster, which goes on sale later this year and will have a price tag of around $150K. With that in mind, the old school iconography makes sense, as this car (and ad) clearly targets the Boomer generation, which presumably knows who Peter Fonda is without Googling him

Lexus: Experience amazing

The extended-cut, 1-minute version of the Lexus commercial is a visual delight featuring the 2017 Lexus LC and dancer Lil Buck. The impossible moves of the street style dancer mimic the impossible lines of a car that was only supposed to be a concept. On Lexus’ YouTube channel there are also a couple of cool video shorts worth watching that feature Lil Buck mimicking end-zone dances with a challenge and an anthology.

Honda: Power of Dreams

Honda brought out the big guns this year, featuring well-known people such as Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Magic Johnson and Amy Adams -- via their high school yearbook photos. It's fun to see that, yeah, Robert Redford was just as hunky as a teen, and, no, Jimmy Kimmel should not wear that suit (or play a clarinet). The #PowerOfDreams campaign is promoting the 2018 CR-V, a 20-year dream come true. You can also check out the 15-second teaser on YouTube featuring Carell.

Audi: Progress is for everyone

Audi has gone emotional on us again this year. Anyone who is a woman or has a daughter or a wife or a sister or a mother (so, basically, everyone) will feel a little catch in her (or his) breath with this spot called “Daughter,” as Audi goes on a crusade for equality. Spurred by a 2016 report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee that found women were paid 21 percent less than men on average, this 1-minute ad showcases a young girl facing – and beating – a bunch of boys in a boxcar race. The all-new 2018 S5 Sportback cameo at the end is a nice touch.

Hyundai: It’s all about the heroes

Hyundai, an official sponsor of the NFL, is doing something really different this year. With a theme that includes the phrase, “some of the better of Super Bowl LI moments won’t happen only on the field,” the automaker is planning to film and edit a 90-second documentary-style spot during the game – nowhere near the field. The gist is that it will include members of the U.S. Armed Forces as they watch the game from afar. It will air immediately after the game. For obvious reason, Hyundai can’t share the commercial in advance, but it has dropped a couple teasers, and you can see the commercial immediately after the final whistle on TV or at https://www.hyundaiusa.com/better/.

Buick: I’m open!

How can you go wrong with cute kids and comedy? Add in a super model, and you have the makings of a great commercial. About a Buick. Weird, right? But it’s totally in keeping with the “That’s a Buick?” theme that has prevailed of late. Cameos include Cam Newton and Miranda Kerr. Looking for more Kerr, Cam or cuteness? You can check out the behind-the-scenes video on YouTube, too.

Ford: No one likes being stuck

Whether you’ve been jammed up in a snowdrift or had your foot caught in the mud, you’ve likely been stuck in something. And it’s frustrating. As Ford is trying to make itself into a “mobility” company, the automaker is saying one place you don’t have to be stuck anymore is in traffic. Yeah, they’re still offering vehicles such as the F-150 and the GT, but they’re also working on ride sharing, bike sharing, electric cars and self-driving cars to take us into the future of mobility, thus creating “new ways to help you move through life faster, easier, better.” So, this Super Bowl spot is less about the now, and more about what’s coming. Sooner than you think.

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