Auto advertising has become a staple of the annual Super Bowl viewing experience, but this year, a new name, Maserati, turned out to be the most effective at generating a response from visitors to The surprise appearance of an advertisement for its new Ghibli - at $68,850, the first member of Maserati's current U.S. lineup to be priced below $100,000 - helped increase relative search figures for this stylish sport sedan by 4,250 percent following its airing during the first quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII. It also led to a marque-topping 700-percent bump in visitor traffic on the site for Maserati itself. 

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"Maserati, not a name that you would associate with your average household luxury brand, stepped into the limelight with an ad that was reminiscent of a movie trailer," commented Arthur Henry, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. Admitting that having considerably fewer total in-market shoppers did make it easier for the well-crafted "Strike" ad to produce such a dramatic reaction in this rarefied realm, Henry also noted that overall response to upline auto brands in general was far stronger this year than in the recent past. "As the economy and shopper confidence improves, luxury looks to be the hot ticket item for 2014."

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Other winners at in the annual Big Game brand wars included Audi, which saw its post-ad search traffic up 152 percent and Jeep which enjoyed a 114 percent rise. Rounding out the Top 10 were Kia (62 percent), Volkswagen (50 percent), Chrysler (36 percent), Honda (34 percent), Toyota (26 percent), Ford (20 percent), Chevrolet (10 percent) and Hyundai (7 percent). 

2014 Compact SUVs at a glance

Among individual models generating elevated visitor interest at, the standout Maserati Ghibli was followed by the Jaguar F-Type (1,733 percent), Hyundai Genesis (838 percent), and Audi A3 (813 percent). Other vehicles on the list included the Ford Fusion Hybrid (122 percent), Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (120 percent) Hyundai Elantra (115 percent), Jeep Cherokee (98 percent) and Toyota Highlander (81 percent).  All of the percentages cited reflect the relative difference in search activity on from one hour prior to one hour after their respective commercials were aired during Super Bowl XLVIII. 


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