Automakers spent millions of dollars last night to be memorable.
They filled TV screens with space babies, tractors and alpacas in hopes of making a positive impression on more than 100 million potential customers watching the Super Bowl.
In the best-case scenario, they would steal the evening just as Chrysler did last year with Clint Eastwood and the “Halftime in America” spot.
In the worst case, they would become a punch line.
Automotive News’ 30,000-plus Twitter followers were eager to praise some commercials, while shredding others like wild dogs on fresh steak.
Ram’s farmer commercial and Jeep’s tribute to the U.S. military were standouts, based on tweets from our followers.
Audi’s “Bravery” spot, centered on an abrasive young man who goes to the prom without a date, steals a kiss from the prom queen and promptly gets a black eye from the king, also received positive reviews.
One of our followers suggested that Mercedes-Benz follow up on the commercial and stick it to Audi: Mercedes “must do a follow where the prom king gets in his dad's E63 AMG & hunts that punk 2 finish the beating he started.”
So who was the steak?
The brand’s “Steer the Script” spot, which was created from Twitter users’ suggestions, received a bevy of insults, such as:
“#steerthescript happens when you have nothing left in the advertising tank.”
“Some ad agency idiot probably came up with the idea.”
“@LincolnMotorCo. Watch the #MercedesBenz spot. That's how you make people want your car!”
“It's time for Lincoln to bite the bullet!!! Slap a platinum title on a couple more Fords and move on!”
Toyota’s spot for the RAV4 took some hits, too:
“The “#Toyota ad was terrible. Witches?? Ford ad should show them how it should be done. :)” (Ford followed with “Steer the Script.” This tweeter wasn’t heard from again.)
“#Toyota sells a lot of cars but at the end of the day they are still boring.”
Meanwhile, Kia’s babies in space suits didn’t give the brand a free pass.
“Not bad but guaranteed not as funny as they thought it was when they created it.”
“Hate to say it, but they needed more dancing hamsters.”
Even though Chrysler was the consensus winner among Automotive News followers on Twitter, the company still wasn’t immune to attacks.
“#Chrysler has always deferred to "selling America" when it needs to distract you from its product.”
“Kia [space baby] ad far more memorable. Ram=bailout. Cronie capitalism. Chrysler total embarrassment. Deserves to die!”