Acura is sitting out the Super Bowl ad extravaganza because the brand doesn't have message or the vehicle launches this year that merit buying onto such a big stage, said Acura General Manager Mike Accavitti.
More automakers than not have reached the same conclusion this year.
So far, six brands -- BMW, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Toyota -- are expected to run spots during the game, which airs Feb. 1 on NBC. Last year, 11 auto brands ran commercials during the game.
For a cost of about $4.5 million for 30-second commercials during the game this year, Acura determined it could get more bang for its marketing dollars elsewhere, Accavitti said.
Volkswagen, which had a huge Super Bowl hit with the Darth Vader kid in 2011, is also passing this year, due to "other priorities."
"Volkswagen is a great fan of the Super Bowl, and it has been a strong platform for the brand and our campaigns," said spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan. "However, for 2015 we have opted to not participate due to other priorities and initiatives across all platforms."
Indeed, marketers are spending increasing sums online, such as with early-release YouTube videos and other social media, to entice new customers. Even auto brands with a game spot are busy using online venues to amplify their Super Bowl message.
A big unknown this year is FCA US, the new name of Chrysler Group. In the last few years, the company has aired high-impact commercials during the game, such as rapper Eminem's spot for the Chrysler 200.
FCA execs are not saying whether they'll have a spot in next week's game.
Meanwhile, Nissan returns to Super Bowl advertising for the first time since 1997 as it presses to overtake Japanese rival Honda in U.S. market share.