The most coveted and most expensive advertising platform, the Super Bowl, is sold out. And for the auto industry that means welcome back Volkswagen, GM, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia — among other auto-related sponsors.
According to a report in USA Today, all 30-second slots, which cost a record $3.5 million each, were purchased by the end of last November.
Seth Winter, senior vice president of sales and marketing at NBC's sports group, told the newspaper, "We have shattered any recent revenue stories in regards to the Super Bowl."
Last year, Volkswagen had two of the most popular Super Bowl commercials, including the Darth Vader spot in which a boy in the super villain's attire believes he can start his parents' 2011 VW Passat with the "Force." Since its debut about a year ago, the commercial has about 48 million page views on YouTube.
Volkswagen will promote the 2012 Beetle in its commercial in this year's Super Bowl, scheduled Sunday, Feb. 5, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, in a 60-second spot.
GM will have five commercials in the Super Bowl, including four for Chevy and one for Cadillac, according to a spokesman.
Lexus will be a Super Bowl advertiser for the first time and will promote its newly designed 2012 lineup.
Automotive-related GoDaddy.com (the website hosting company and race car sponsor) will again feature Danica Patrick, and Bridgestone Tires' ads, featuring former football stars, will also return.
Article Last Updated: January 2, 2012.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.