Super Bowl spot was a pricey pitch for Maserati

Maserati’s Ghibli: A high-end launch for an entry-level model

Maserati's 90-second Super Bowl commercial may have moved the needle in terms of awareness of the boutique luxury brand, but the real sales job took place weeks before the big game.

That's when Saad Chehab, the former head of the Chrysler brand who in November became chief marketing officer for Maserati, persuaded Fiat Chrysler executives to spend millions promoting its new Ghibli entry-level sedan.

Chehab, a veteran of Chrysler's past Super Bowl marketing home runs, told Automotive News the Ghibli "deserved a wide audience platform such as the Super Bowl" to show how it's different from its costly competitors. The Ghibli stickers at $68,150, including freight.

It couldn't have been an easy sell for Chehab. At a reported price of as much as $4 million per 30 seconds, the 90-second spot easily cost Maserati more than $700 for each of the 15,400 vehicles it sold around the world in 2013.