Holy Moly: Lots of People Saw the Cadillac ATS Super Bowl Ad

By Jason Davis | February 07, 2012
On Monday, everyone was talking about the Clint Eastwood and Chrysler 300 Super Bowl ad where the Gran Torino star showed Christian Bale how to really do a Batman voice. But that ad, and others, did not reach as many eyeballs as the video of the Cadillac ATS being slung through Germany's famous race course, the Nurburgring. According to Kantar Media's Super Bowl audience study, the Cadillac ATS ad, "Green Hell," named after the Nurburgring, which was shown right after the 2-minute warning in Sunday's 4th Quarter, was the most-watched ad in television history. That's kind of a big deal right? NBC-TV reported a record 111.3 million viewers, or about one-third of the United States population, had watched the big game. That equates to a 43.5 audience rating for Cadillac's ATS ad spot. ”We have a big message this year – Cadillac is expanding with new models challenging the world’s best luxury cars. This stunning viewership data proves that Cadillac’s big message reached the largest audience,” said General Motors Global Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick. “When it comes to Super Bowl ads, everyone has opinions on their favorites. But it’s a fact that this Cadillac spot had the biggest audience during the game.” Ewanick's comments spark a more interesting question, though. Since the commercial break at the 2-minute warning was the most-watched commercial in television history in each of that last two years (last year, Chevrolet's Camaro was the top watched in television history), will that then increase its price for future years? And the importance of the content at that moment? Could it turn into a bidding war? Do we care? It is speculated that each 30-second advertisement cost roughly 3.5 million for the airtime. Forbes earlier today speculated that that price, coupled with $2-3 million for production and celebrities' fees, turns the cost into a $5-6 million dollar commercial--a cost that is unlikely to positively affect return on investment. It remains to be seen whether the ad that had more eyes than any other in television history will spark Cadillac ATS sales. Thus, Ewanick's comments should be taken with a grain of salt. We're all looking forward to the upcoming Cadillac ATS versus BMW 3 shootout--early on-paper figures show it to be a great battle--but the Caddillac commercial was hardly the best, or the most memorable Super Bowl commercial, right? So, it's a fact that this Cadillac ATS spot had the biggest audience, but if no one remembers, who cares?

Source: Cadillac, Kantar Media, Forbes