Do car manufacturers even make gas-powered cars in 2022? From watching the Super Bowl commercials, it would be easy to think no. BMW, Chevrolet, General Motors, Kia, Nissan, and Polestar all highlighted EVs, and Wallbox became the first EV charging company to run a Super Bowl ad.

Even Austin Power’s notorious super villain Dr. Evil is going green. In General Motors’ “Dr. EV-il” ad, Dr. Evil embraces the transition to electric, “I will help save the world first, then take over the world.” GM’s humorous throwback to the Austin Power franchise of the late 90’s/early 2000’s greatly raised the brand in consumers’ esteem. Most noticeably, GM saw a +10.7 increase in perceived quality, and a +8.5 increase in familiarity. They also saw a +6.2 increase in consideration indicating that viewers found themselves more apt to consider buying a GM vehicle after seeing their Super Bowl ad.

Nissan’s “Thrill Driver,” staring Eugene Levy, combined action and humor to imagine Nissan as the next “Bond car.” Unlike some of the other car manufacturers this year, Nissan showcased both their gas-powered and electric models within the ad spot. Nissan saw an overall brand equity increase of +4.3. They jumped +6.4 in familiarity and +5.3 in consideration. Their perceived momentum also rose by +4.6.


Despite this year’s strong focus on EVs, they still only make up 9% of all global passenger vehicle sales, with US purchases trailing behind China and Europe. While car companies want to be seen as “green,” it may take a while for EVs to become the predominant mode of travel. Earlier this year, U.S. respondents reported significant hesitancies toward EVs – 83% are concerned about an EV’s travel distance, 83% are concerned about the price of EVs, and 81% are concerned about the availability of EV charging stations.

Even if Americans are not ready to purchase an electric car, they did enjoy the ads. Three out of fifteen of this year’s favorite Super Bowl commercials featured EVs – Kia (2.5%), BMW (2.1%), and Chevrolet (2.4%). Favorite commercials were selected by respondents who remembered watching a listed ad during the Super Bowl.


Catherine Ake

Senior Marketing and Content Strategist

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