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Start your engines! The Super Bowl car commercials are here

Why wait for the big game to watch the best car commercials? Cross over to "The Bark Side."


Fruzsina Eördögh


Posted on Feb 3, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 9:52 pm CDT

People only watch the Super Bowl for the ads, according to the New York Times and YouTube personality Peter Chao, among others.

But if they’re all online now anyway, why even watch the big game?

Last year’s  Volkswagen Passat commercial, “The Force,” was a game changer, becoming tremendously popular online before ever officially airing. Now everyone wants to release their ads online early in the hopes of generating buzz on social media. The Times called this the “halo effect,” where consumers can “get in on the joke.”

Without further ado, here are the car commercials you will be watching this Sunday—if you tune in.

This Matthew Broderick vehicle broke the hearts of Redditors and YouTubers alike. The teaser, viewed 5 million times, had many hopeful for a sequel to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  It turned out to be a pricey spot for a Honda SUV. Viewed 10.1 million times since being released on Monday.

With its extended edition commercial featuring Jerry Seinfeld, this Acura commercial has been viewed 10.6 million times since Jan 30. It might well be number one in this year’s Super Bowl ad race. The ad also features Jay Leno in a jet-pack squirrel suit, and comes with five extended scenes. (Who needs a car though, when you have jet packs and a personal network of zip lines?)

Volkswagen’s Beetle commercial is almost too meta—even for us. After watching a dog get in shape just so he can chase a new Beetle, the viewer is transported to the infamous Mos Eisley bar (from Star Wars), where patrons argue which ad (2011’s or 2012’s) was better. “The Dog Strikes Back” has been viewed 2 million times since. The teaser, called “The Bark Side,” has been viewed 11 million views.

Hyundai’s commercial, featuring the company’s Montgomery, Alabama employees singing, is so charmingly low-key that it’s refreshing. But it’s only been viewed roughly 700,000 times since Jan 24.

Toyota apparently got so excited by how well they reinvented their Camry, the car manufacturer decided to keep “re-inventing” things, like curtains, which are now made of pizza, in this minute-long barrel of absurdity. Uploaded on Jan 27, the commercial has collected 1.2 million views.

Audi, seeking to capitalize on the pop culture vampire craze, (unintentionally) delighted the Internet masses by showcasing how powerful the new s7 headlights are. Spoiler: They kill vampires. Three million views since Jan 25.

Additional Super Bowl commercials, including one featuring Will Arnett for Hulu, can be viewed here.

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*First Published: Feb 3, 2012, 4:30 pm CST