CARS.COM — If you wonder why automakers spend so much money to advertise in the Super Bowl, we have the answer: Because viewers flock to sites such as Cars.com to look up information about those cars.
We analyzed site traffic to determine how those ads translated to online activity on Cars.com. Car companies that aired ads during the game averaged a 7 percent lift to their brand pages on Cars.com, and a 238 percent lift to pages on Cars.com for models that were specifically called out.
In the eight minutes following its commercial, visits to Alfa Romeo pages on Cars.com saw a staggering 1,179 percent increase, a sign that its ad drove viewers to investigate.
When compared to site traffic over the four previous Sundays, automakers who advertised during Super Bowl 51 saw the following lifts to their advertised model pages, in order of boost:
- Alfa Romeo Giulia: 7,320 percent (This may have been helped by the fact that Alfa has only recently come back to the U.S. market and was therefore more unfamiliar.)
- Audi S5: 1,391 percent
- Mercedes-Benz AMG GT: 910 percent
- Lexus LS 460: 888 percent
- Lexus LC 500: 861 percent
- Kia Niro: 497 percent
- Buick Cascada: 424 percent
- Buick Encore: 59 percent
- Honda CR-V: 35 percent
Relatedly, automakers took the top spots in the USA Today Ad Meter this year, which tracks the popularity of Super Bowl ads. Here are the five best-performing automotive ads from the game: