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Sometimes, advertisements are the only thing keeping us engaged in the Super Bowl. Thankfully, the on-field entertainment was up to scratch in yesterday’s Philadelphia Eagles win.

In this writer’s opinion, yesterday’s crop of automotive ads were a bit, well, flat. One piece will be remembered for being a bit tone deaf, and for using words deeply out of context. That award goes to Ram, which used an anti-capitalist sermon from Dr Martin Luther King, Jr as its hook.


Hyundai – “Hope Detector”

Instead of advertising a car, Hyundai tugged at the heart strings by reminding Americans it donates money to paediatric cancer research.

Watch “Hope Detector” here.


Hyundai Kona – “Ref to the Rescue”

Hyundai decided to lighten things up for its other Super Bowl ad. The afternoon of the Super Bowl isn’t the best time for a Little League match, so the referee comes up with a solution that works for everybody.

Watch “Ref to the Rescue” here.


Jeep Wrangler – “Anti-Manifesto”

One of five ads from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on the night, and easily the best. There’s a simple joy in watching a car ford a river and scramble up a river bank.

Watch “Anti-Manifesto” here.


Jeep Wrangler – “Jeep Jurassic”

Jeff Goldblum, a chase and an angry dinosaur. It has all the ingredients of a classic, but we’d rather watch the Wrangler ford that river again.

Watch “Jeep Jurassic” here.


Jeep Cherokee – “The Road”

There’s some spectacular overhead footage of America’s interstate highway system in this ad. Oh, and a facelifted Cherokee.

Watch “The Road” here.


Kia Stinger – “Feel Something Again”

Steven Tyler goes all Benjamin Button in this ad for the rear-wheel drive Stinger. Watch for a cameo from Emerson Fittipaldi, too. The company has also released a version of the ad in reverse – you could argue it’s better than the original.

Watch “Feel Something Again” and in reverse.


Lexus LS – “Long Live the King”

A promotional tie-in with the new Black Panther movie, the ad for the Lexus LS500h stars King T’Challa as the movie’s titular character, and features a brief cameo from the LC coupe.

Watch “Long Live the King”.


Ram 1500 – “Built to Serve”

Easily the most controversial automotive Super Bowl ad in recent years, the ad features scenes of people working and the new pickup doing its thing, overlaid with words from one of Martin Luther King, Jr’s speeches.

As the editor of Current Affairs has pointed out already, this sermon was about the perils of capitalism. In it, King called advertisers “those gentlemen of massive verbal persuasion”.

“In order to make your neighbors envious, you must drive this type of car,” he said.

“In order to be lovely to love you must wear this kind of lipstick or this kind of perfume. And you know, before you know it, you’re just buying that stuff …

“I got to drive this car because it’s something about this car that makes my car a little better than my neighbor’s car … I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I’m going to continue to say it to America.”

Watch “Built to Serve”.


Ram 1500 – “We Will Rock You”

Featuring a bed of vikings and a version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, the other Ram ad was less controversial.

Watch “We Will Rock You” here.


Toyota Tundra – “One Team”

What do you get when you mix four religions, a Toyota Tundra, and game of American football? A feel-good ad about unity and friendship in politically divided times.

Watch “One Team” here.


Toyota – “Mobility Anthem”

Like other automakers, Toyota is busy working on autonomous vehicles and other mobility technologies. Unlike other automakers, it’s happy to shell out big-time to advertise that fact.

Watch “Mobility Anthem” here.


Toyota – “Good Odds”

The Winter Olympics and Paralympics are just around the corner. As Toyota is a sponsor of both, and used one of its ads to highlight the journey of Lauren Woolstencroft, winner of eight Paralympics gold medals.

Watch “Good Odds” here.


For those interested in whether ads during the Super Bowl do cause an upsurge in interest, Edmunds tweeted through the night about the spikes in traffic it was seeing across its website.

So, what did you think of this year’s crop? Let us know which automotive Super Bowl ad took your fancy or got you angry in the comments section below.




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