Here’s Why You Won’t See Many Car Commercials During the Super Bowl Tonight

If you were hoping to see a bunch of car commercials during this year's Super Bowl, you might be disappointed.

I have a love/hate relationship with Super Bowl commercials. Some of them can be genuinely funny and I do like to see which car companies reveal new cars. However, as a lifelong football fan, I hate when people come over for the Super Bowl party only to talk during the game but shut up to watch the commercials. Then, when the game comes back on, they talk at a shockingly high volume about the last few commercials they just watched seconds ago. It’s my nightmare. This year, it’s going to be even worse because there aren’t even going to be many car commercials to bring me solace.

Why are so many brands forgoing Super Bowl commercials this year? According to CNBC, most automakers are prioritizing electric vehicle investments over advertising. Kantar Media, the London-based marketing analytics company, says that a 30-second Super Bowl ad spot costs $6.5 million for 2023. And that’s just for the time slot, not to mention the millions more spent on making the commercial itself. When automakers are spending billions on EV development, spending millions more on just one ad might seem unwise.

CNBC also reported that, according to Eric Haggstrom, director of business intelligence for Advertiser Perceptions, supply chain issues have had a big impact as well, causing fewer sales and tighter inventories.

GM’s 2023 Super Bowl commercial featuring Will Ferrell

Only four car companies will air commercials during this year’s big game—GM, Kia, Ram, and Jeep. Porsche will air an ad before the Super Bowl, in partnership with Paramount. WeatherTech will also continue its ten year streak of Super Bowl commercials, the longest running streak for any automotive-based brand. But brands like Toyota, Hyundai, and Ford, who typically join in on the fun, have all chosen to sit this year out.

In previous years, car companies were the biggest Super Bowl commercial spenders, having spent $99.3 million last year, with the second biggest industry (movies, TV, web) spending $70.5 million. This year, that number could fall closer to the 2021 Super Bowl, in which the auto industry spent $66 million (which was still the most money spent that year).

So if you were hoping to see a bunch of car commercials in between drives by the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, you might be disappointed this year. And if you have too many annoying relatives over for a Super Bowl party, talking through the game, hopefully you have another room in the house with a TV that you can sneak off to, so you can yell about missed holding calls in peace.

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