Alissa Walker+ Your Authors @awalkerinLA I'm a writer, a gelato-eater, and a walker in LA. Urbanism editor @Curbed. Co-host @theLApod. Contributor @KCRW. More 👧🏼👶🏼 and 🚲🚶🏼‍♀️🚍 on Instagram. Feb. 02, 2020 4 min read + Your Authors

Against my better judgement I'm going to attempt to live tweet the worst Super Bowl car commercials. #SuperBowl2020 #SuperBowl #SBLIV  https://www.curbed.com/2020/1/31/21115593/super-bowl-worst-car-ads 

Download your @TransAlt #CarAdBingo card by @jessiesingernyc here and play along at home!

While we're waiting for the first break please enjoy this story about the Only Good Car Ad™  https://www.curbed.com/word-on-the-street/2018/2/22/17037774/car-commercial-cities-saturn-jamie-barrett 

From @DrTaraGoddard, who studies studies the impact of car commercials on road safety, a few other things to watch for today—and a chance to help contribute to her research.

Here we go. This Porsche ad has all the quintessential dangerous driving, lots of speeding, but—surprise!—IT'S SELLING AN ELECTRIC CAR!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92sXWVxRr0g&feature=emb_title 

This idea that EVs are now going to get advertised with the "same delirious irrationality as any other car out there" is what @JasonTorchinsky is talking about here.  https://jalopnik.com/seriously-the-electric-hummer-is-a-total-change-in-how-1841363548 

You are allowed to laugh at this one. This Hyundai ad is probably the least offensive ad you're going to see today.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85iRQdjCzj0 

BUT. (Of course there's a but, right?) Perpetuating this myth that high-tech features like "smart park" can help us drive more safely has become a way to sell cars. Read @schadenfraade on this phenomenon.  https://thebaffler.com/latest/whos-afraid-petextrian-fraade 

According to @BrendanCormier, who curated an excellent exhibition on cars for @V_and_A, here are the three ways cars have been advertised from the very beginning:

🏁Speed and freedom
🛣️Ability to escape from the city
🚗Car is a head-turning extension of your personality

Another ad that seems funny on the outset! Chrissy Teigen and John Legend! No dangerous driving! However...  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTcXkxbukuk 

Genesis is a *brand-new brand* Hyundai has created just to sell luxury SUVs.

The SUV this ad convinces Americans to buy will be on the road for an average of *12 years.*

@chrissyteigen and @johnlegend, is this the legacy you want to leave for your kids? #SuperBowl #SBLIV

This is the only Super Bowl car ad that hasn't been released ahead of time

⚡️THE ELECTRIC HUMMER AD⚡️

And they're advertising it as... quiet?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6EPPJHaCtw 

Next up—we've got the electric Ford Mustang ad. This one isn't new. But note that it promotes all the same dangerous driving behaviors for EVs.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAM3EasAGt4 

Instead of watching this halftime show, please watch @tomflood1's car ad counterprogramming.

You might be asking yourself, right about now, why *are* there so many car ads? Here's @greg_shill on the U.S.'s auto-supremacy.  https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/car-crashes-arent-always-unavoidable/592447/ 

And... the new EV Hummer ads are starting to make their way into the feed.

As others have noted, a bummer to see @KingJames in these after all he's been doing for biking lately  https://www.fastcompany.com/90454167/lyft-and-lebron-james-are-giving-thousands-of-young-people-free-bikeshare-memberships 

This was fine, from Kia, but again—an internal combustion vehicle purchased this year will be on the road long after we need to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyMev6_XZ9s 

People are asking: Aren't EV Hummers or Mustangs or Porsches better?

❌EVs won't stop 40,000 deaths per year
❌EVs won't end traffic congestion
❌EVs won't eliminate particulate pollution
❌EVs won't remove highways/parking lots
❌EVs are *still cars*

 https://www.curbed.com/a/texas-california/electric-cars-climate-change-sacramento-california 

That Honda ad wasn't something I was anticipating to talk about but...

It's pretty despicable that a car company would advertise about forgiving student debt when the used car industry is driving people into debt with predatory loans.
 https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-seven-year-auto-loan-americas-middle-class-cant-afford-their-cars-11569941215 

The new 2020 Toyota Highlander

MSRP: From $34,600
MPG: Up to 21 city / 29 highway

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7loDDRfeJw 

The increase in carbon emissions from new SUV sales alone is now large enough to wipe out any reductions made by the recent increased sales of electric vehicles.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2019/oct/25/suvs-second-biggest-cause-of-emissions-rise-figures-reveal 

One thing we haven't talked about yet—SUVs are two to three times more likely to kill people who are not in those SUVs.

Anyone considering buying one of these things should watch this first.  https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/14/21065319/suv-truck-front-blindspot-children-injury-death-wthr-13 

It's actually Groundhog Day!
It's actually Bill Murray!
It's for a Jeep that has even worse fuel-efficiency than the Toyota Highlander!

The bike was cute. But this is how they get us!
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnhzGUcENWo&feature=emb_title 

Remember all those things I was saying that electric vehicles don't actually do?
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvEAklsAAts&feature=emb_title 

In conclusion, here are the automakers that advertised in #SBLIV who are also aligned with the Trump administration's effort to roll back emissions standards.

General Motors
Toyota
Hyundai
Kia

 https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/automakers-side-with-trump-in-legal-fight-with-california 

How was the game?

Here’s some analysis of alectric car advertising, who spends what, and if it works. Also interesting to note the overall number of Super Bowl car ads is down.  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/02/02/climate/super-bowl-ads-electric-car-hummer.html 

Would love to see similar analysis looking at the number of SUVs vs. non-SUVs advertised at the Super Bowl over the last 10 years.

Just one sedan for 2020 according to my count.

Another really good point. All car ads are classist but this is really the wrong way to market EVs.


You can follow @awalkerinLA.



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