Super Bowl XLIX: Fiat Chrysler to air three ads

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

FCA US LLC, formerly Chrysler Group LLC, confirmed Thursday that it will air three ads during Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday.

The company did not provide any details on the ads besides their expected air times: The first spot is scheduled to air as the first commercial following the second quarter's two-minute warning break; the second and third are scheduled to run during the third quarter.

A spokeswoman for the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV business unit declined to comment on the length of the commercials or what vehicles or brands will be featured.

Since the company's critically acclaimed 2011 "Born of Fire" ad featuring Eminem for the Chrysler 200, the company has annually had a major presence at the Super Bowl with unique, long-form ads that don't necessarily focus on the vehicles or brands. Many have featured A-list celebrities that aren't usually associated with advertising.

This year's Super Bowl will be the second year in a row the company will air three ads during the game. In 2014, the automaker aired a two-minute spot with musician Bob Dylan discussing American pride and manufacturing for the 2015 Chrysler 200; an inspirational 90-second spot for the 2014 Maserati Ghibli; and a scenic 60-second ad for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee that featured adventure-seeking youths in the SUV.

"Born of Fire" was followed by 2012's "Halftime in America," a patriotic ad featuring actor Clint Eastwood; and 2013's "Farmer," using the "So God Made a Farmer" speech delivered by iconic radio broadcaster Paul Harvey, as well as a Jeep ad narrated by Oprah Winfrey.

Fiat Chrysler is one of six major automakers expected to advertise during this year's New England Patriots-Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl on Sunday. Others include BMW AG, Daimler AG (Mercedes-Benz), Kia Motors Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. (Lexus and Toyota). Most automakers have already released their ads online.

Many automakers that advertised in recent Super Bowls — including Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Hyundai Motor Corp. and Volkswagen — decided to sit out this year.

Michigan State University advertising instructor Robert Kolt said it's smart for Fiat Chrysler to once again return to the big game.

"With GM and Ford buying around the game, Fiat Chrysler will have an opportunity to make an impact for the American automakers in the game," he said. "It's a good buy, even though it's expensive."

A 30-second spot during this year's game on NBC is estimated to average $4.4 million-$4.5 million — at least $200,000 more than a year ago, and $2 million more than a decade ago, according to market research and insights firm Kantar Media.

In the past five years, Kantar Media reports automakers have been three of the top five advertisers during the Super Bowl: Anheuser-Busch InBev at a combined $152.5 million; Chrysler Group (now Fiat Chrysler) at $89.5 million; Pepsico Inc. at $76.6 million; Hyundai at $69.8 million; and Volkswagen at $68.1 million.

In the past decade, automakers accounted for $514.6 million, or 23.5 percent, of the $2.2 billion spent on Super Bowl ads.

(313) 222-2504