Audi Revs Up Another Super Bowl Spot

60-second ad for the A3 sedan to air after halftime show

Audi is gearing up for its seventh straight Super Bowl appearance, signing on for 60 seconds of airtime in what may well be one of the most-watched segments in the year’s highest-rated broadcast.

According to Loren Angelo, director of marketing, Audi of America, the automaker has landed the final position in the commercial pod that airs immediately after the halftime show. While Angelo is keeping details about the creative under wraps, he did say that the long-form spot will showcase the 2015 Audi A3 sedan, a luxury compact designed to compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLA.

Priced to appeal to younger, first-time car buyers (the MSRP is $29,900), the A3 sedan will be the first member of the manufacturer’s revamped line to appear in showrooms. After arriving in the spring, the sporty four-door will be joined later in the year by diesel, hybrid and convertible models.

As it did with last year’s “Prom” spot and the 2012 “Vampire Party” execution, Audi will make the A3 ad available shortly before the Super Bowl kicks off. “We’ve had a great deal of success with doing advance releases,” Angelo said. “We get much greater attention from the American audience when we put it out there ahead of time. The social sharing that takes place gets us greater attention and advance buzz.” 

In fact, of the in the 12.1 million views the “Prom” spot garnered in its first seven days on YouTube, 40 percent took place before the actual broadcast. And as studies have shown, the additional impressions can help return a nice chunk of a marketer’s initial investment. (On average, each 30-second sliver of airtime in Super Bowl XLVIII fetched a record $4 million a pop.)

Billboard’s newly crowned Artist of the Year, Bruno Mars, is headlining Fox’s Super Bowl halftime show. Beyoncé’s performance in last year’s interregnum averaged 104 million viewers, making it the third-most watched spectacle in Super Bowl history. 

While the lead-in to the third quarter is generally a closely-watched segment, competitive games obviously draw their biggest ratings at the tail end of the broadcast. The final 15 minutes of February’s weirdly compelling Ravens-49ers battle notched a 52.9 rating/75 share, which means that three-quarters of all the TV sets that were in use at the time were tuned in to CBS’ broadcast.

Per Kantar Media, the highest-rated ad of the 2013 Super Bowl was a 20-second promo for CBS’ Person of Interest that aired in the waning moments of the game. The in-house teaser delivered a 47.4 household rating at 10:31 p.m. 

“The Super Bowl is the only opportunity to reach 100 million engaged Americans, and we use the platform to build awareness of our brand while speaking to a greater cultural ‘moment,’” Angelo said. “As a marketer, you need to leverage all the assets at your disposal to start what is effectively a conversation with America.”

As has been the case with Audi’s last six Super Bowl ads, this year’s spot is being produced by the San Francisco agency Venables Bell & Partners.

Fox’s coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII kicks off live from MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:25 p.m. EST.