In the buildup to what has to be one of the biggest sporting occasions anywhere in the world each year, it could be easy to forget the Super Bowl actually decides which of the two NFL teams comes out on top for the season. And while a lot of the talk surrounding the event is about the half-time entertainment, the advertisements rival that performance for buzz. With advertising space for America's premier sporting spectacular fetching top dollar, global auto giants are traditionally among the brands to feature prominently. So, let's take a look at who's doing what this year.
As well as Kia having one of the most exciting and well-received new cars in the industry to promote right now, the South Korean auto giant has also managed to enlist the services of Aerosmith frontman and all-round rock legend Steven Tyler to get behind the wheel in the ad. With the help of some CGI, the commercial takes Tyler back to the 1970s with the sound of the classic song "Dream on" playing in the background. Double Formula One and Indianapolis 500 champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, also makes a cameo. Oh yes, and the Stinger GT also features being driven around an abandoned racetrack too.
Not to be left out, Kia's sister company Hyundai is also placing an ad. It's a humorous 60-second slot referencing American football and what much of the world calls football, but the 2018 Kona only makes a nominal appearance in the commercial.
Lexus is also making a big splash with its tie-up with Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" movie in an ad featuring the 2018 LS 500 F Sport. The sleek luxury coupe's exterior and interior get plenty of exposure as the car zips through downtown LA at night, as the Black Panther dispatches numerous bad guys to recover stolen Vibranium after clinging to the roof of the Lexus.
Mercedes takes a different approach with a preview of its "Last Fan Standing" challenge at kickoff, which promises the winning fan a brand-new Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe. In the same way as a previous dealership promotion, it requires contestants to keep their finger on the car as it moves around the screen of their smartphone. The last person touching it wins the car.
Although Toyota has just missed out on being the biggest-selling motor manufacturer in the world in 2017, the company is flexing its considerable financial muscle by planning not one, but two 60-second ads during the Super Bowl. One of the slots promotes Toyota's evolution as a mobility company as the official mobility sponsor of the Pyeongchang Winter Games, but the Japanese auto giant is remaining tight-lipped about what the other ad is all about.