When it comes to monocultural moments, you'd be hard-pressed to find an event that brings the American people together quite like the NFL's Super Bowl ... commercial breaks! As the big interludes approach on Feb. 4, a select few automakers are taking advantage of the primo Your-Ad-Here space and dropping spots (and a whole 'lotta dosh) to direct your attention toward their latest offerings.
Related: Super Bowl Auto Ads Drive Shoppers
Cars probably won't dominate the Monday-morning water cooler conversation quite as much as last year, however. Data in on Super Bowl 51 suggested that automotive ad spending was on the decline for the first time in six years as automakers offered up $70.7 million. This year, only Kia, Hyundai, Lexus and Toyota are confirmed for spots; Buick and Honda will be on the sidelines after appearing in 2017.
Even so, whether you're a Philadelphia Eagles fan relishing the prospect of revenge after 14 years of waiting, or a New England Patriots fan thoroughly unconcerned about this one because rings, man, everybody can feel a little bit better about themselves no matter the outcome after watching these commercials. Come, laugh and cry with us as we cavort through the below exercises in corporate psychology:
Lexus LS 500 F Sport: Black Panther on the Prowl
Up first in pregame reveals is the minute-long Lexus-Marvel Studios mashup for the LS 500 F Sport and the upcoming superhero movie, "Black Panther." In this extended version of the ad — a 30-second version will play during the actual Super Bowl — the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) starts on the roof of Nakia's LC 500 before recovering a tube of stolen vibranium from three hopelessly inept thieves who appear to be ... standing in the middle of the road at the exit of a tunnel for some reason. After a cut sequence of crimefighting, King T'Challa's cat-suit-clad alter-ego dead-sprints across the emptiest stretch of New York City tarmac we've ever seen to perfectly time a fall into the LS 500 F Sport being remotely piloted by Shuri, T'Challa's sister. Befitting the king of Wakanda, the slot ends at a "world leadership conference." Just another day in the life, then.
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