Best car ads of Super Bowl 2016

Serena Williams MINI ad
8 Feb, 2016 8:50am Tom Wiltshire

We round up the best car ads shown during the breaks of the 50th Super Bowl

Is the Super Bowl the biggest sporting event of the year? Quite possibly. While we in the UK don’t tend to get involved with American football, it’s something of a religion for the USA – and this year millions of people across the world tuned in to watch the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers.

Best new cars 2016

For car lovers though, the appeal isn’t just in watching sports – the Super Bowl ad breaks are some of the most hotly contested commercial spaces on world TV, and auto manufacturers pull out some of their best work for the Super Bowl advert slots. They have to be memorable – after all.

For the 2016 Super Bowl, American broadcaster CBS set the rate for a 30-second advertisement at $5 million. That didn't stop manufacturers buying up airtime, though. Hyundai seems to have spent the most – two 30-second in-game ads, one 60-second pre-kickoff ad and one 60-second pre-game ad. If our calculations are correct that’s $30 million – plus the fees of the four world-class directors the company has hired to direct its ads.

Read on for our round-up of the best Super Bowl ads this year, featuring Ryan Reynolds, Serena Williams, and singing sheep – though sadly not in the same ad. The cars advertised are more aimed towards the US market, but that doesn't make the ads any less entertaining.

Best Super Bowl ads 2016

Acura

The name 'Acura' might not mean a whole lot to you, but the car featured should. It's marketed in the UK as the Honda NSX - a mid-engined hybrid supercar.

The last Acura Super Bowl ad in 2012 featured Jerry Seinfeld but the car is the star in this one.

Audi

Keen to put more earthly diesel woes behind it, Audi is hoping to win over the US public by comparing the R8 supercar to a rocket launch.

It's certainly a cinematic journey, set to a great soundtrack - David Bowie's 'Starman'.

Buick

Yes, it's a Buick - though Brits will likely recognise the Cascada as a Vauxhall, and those in Continental Europe will see a rebadged Opel instead.

GM's American arm is enjoying a renaissance in the States and it's cars like the Cascada as well as the Insignia that are helping this along. This ad features Odell Beckham Jr and Emily Ratajkowski.

Honda

Honda has a rich history of brilliant adverts - the best-known of which is probably the Rube Goldberg-esque 'Cog' from way back in 2003.

The latest ad for its Ridgeline pick-up shows it's back on strong form, promoting the truck's unique in-bed audio system.

Hyundai

Hyundai is keen to show off its Elantra compact sedan, and has booked four ad slots - though it's only released two ads so far. The first shows off the car's 'Talk Start' feature getting an unsuspecting owner out of trouble...

... while the second previews a utopia populated entirely by clones of Hollywood hunk Ryan Reynolds. It's also showcasing the Elantra's autonomous braking.

The third features comedian Kevin Hart as an overprotective father making good use of his Hyundai Genesis' tracking feature.

Hyundai's final offering suggests all its engineers and designers are born with V8's beating in their chests, and the message is simply that the cars must be 'better' than any that have come before.

Jeep

Jeep's ad time bought the company two commercials. The first is a pretty generic car ad - emotive imagery, celebrating Jeep's 75 year heritage.

The second ad though is more subtle - and quite touching, with beautifully photographed portraits and finishing with a great message - 'We don't make Jeep. You do.'

Kia

The new Optima is the subject of Kia's latest Super Bowl ad, with Christopher Walken taking an unsuspecting customer on an adventure.

Sock puppets also feature.

MINI

After releasing 8 teasers on its YouTube channel, MINI unveiled its campaign to 'Defy Labels' and showcase its own range at the same time.

It's certainly a star-studded lineup, with the Countryman, Clubman and Hatch taking centre stage alongside Serena Williams, Tony Hawk, and T-Pain.

Toyota

After a long hiatus, the Toyota Prius is featuring in its first Super Bowl ad since 2004. The ad features the hybrid getting a lot of sideways action.

It's set to a bold soundtrack and includes talking ducks and exploding wheelie bins. Neat.

The second Prius ad, named 'The Longest Chase' is one of our favourites this year - almost making the all-new hybrid into a cool car.

Best car ads of past Super Bowls

In 2014, Audi promoted its R8 supercar in a unique way - with a Godfather-inspired skit.

Keen to show off its 100,000 mile warranty, GM created its 'Sad Robot' ad back in 2007.

Heading way back to 1994 (when Jeep was known as the Jeep-Eagle division) this ad later won an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

One of the best-known Super Bowl car commercials, this Volkswagen ad from 2012 is definitely a memorable one.

And finally, what better way to welcome in Mercedes' 2011 model range than with a great gathering of older models?

Tell us your favourite Super Bowl 50 ad in the comments below - and keep an eye on this page as we update it with the best new Super Bowl ads!