Which one gets you charged up?


Automakers and ad agencies might finally be starting to find the right way to position electric cars in TV commercials.

The Super Bowl never was the right venue for commercials that need to run people through rational selling points. These brief and most expensive ads of the year are for brand-building, new directions, and generating buzz, with commercials attention-getting enough to turn heads or make loud conversations suddenly hush.

Which is mostly what the three electric-vehicle ads in this year’s Super Bowl stick to. Each one of them are thought-provoking in their own special ways but don’t dig into details. One goes for quiet and intrigue, another one plays out like an action movie, and another wants you to sing along. Audi returns after a different kind of commercial last year (picture above from its 2019 spot), while Porsche and GMC are back after some years out. 

Last year we asked you which qualities you think automakers should be advertising. This time we just want to know which of them you think might reach people. 

Read a little bit more about each of them below, watch them, and if you already have a favorite, vote for it right here. And please do discuss why a certain ad is more likely to get people curious about electric vehicles.

GMC Hummer: Quiet Revolution

The ad plays scenes depicting a herd of horses (1,000 hp), a high-performance motorcycle (0-60 mph in 3 seconds), and up-close views of reduction gears and tow chains (11,500 pound-feet of torque—all accompanied by a soundtrack of silence.

“A quiet revolution is coming,” the commercial then declares. “All electric, zero emissions, zero limits.”

The ad doesn’t reveal anything more about the vehicle except show a familiar but revised take on the Hummer front grille design, and to show that it will be part of the GMC brand.

Porsche: The Heist

A “thief” in the Porsche Taycan Turbo S sneaks out of Porsche’s museum in Germany, apparently aided by how quiet it is (and he must have been clever enough to disable the pedestrian noisemakers).

After setting an alarm off as the thief speeds away, the museum guards quickly hop into the other vehicles and speed away. The chase includes all sorts of Porsches from the past—including a Porsche tractor, the current Porsche 911 4S, and one of this author’s favorites, a “930” Porsche 911 from the 1970s with its very large rear spoiler.

Speaking of spoilers, there’s a clever hook later in the commercial that we don’t want to give away. Watch the extended version below and enjoy.

According to AdWeek, it’s the first time Porsche has run a Super Bowl ad since 1997. The timing seems right, for the automaker casting itself in a new electric direction, and the tagline that flashes at the end is perfect for the Taycan’s mission: “Finally an electric car that steals you.”

Audi: Let It Go

Audi’s ad for the Super Bowl opts for star power and a catchy song as a way of engaging the viewer, showing Game of Thrones and film star Maisie Williams driving past cranky drivers in pollution-spewing vehicles and an animated gas pump—all as she sings the song “Let it go,” from “Frozen.”

Both the introduction of the commercial and the last line of the song (”Cold never bothered me anyway”) seem intended as reminders of climate change. Or is that the E-Tron’s battery performance in the cold?