Super Bowl LIII: Why auto brands shouldn't follow Mercedes-Benz's lead.

Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium will host the 53rd Super Bowl. It will be the first Super Bowl played at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium since its opening in 2017. In addition to an exciting game between the Patriots and the Rams, we can expect over 45 broadcast advertisements aiming to captivate an audience of 100+ million viewers. Unsurprisingly, Mercedes-Benz is developing an ad to return to the Super Bowl broadcast and you can bet that other automotive brands will follow suit.

The True Value of a Super Bowl Spot

With an audience as large as the Super Bowl’s there’s no doubt that a $5 million spot will increase product awareness, but are they effective? Communications firm Communicus, found that the majority of Super Bowl ads do not boost purchases or even intent to purchase.

Thankfully, when it comes to reaching large populations of automotive shoppers, there exists cost-effective alternatives to the Super Bowl spot.

In 2018, approximately one third of the US population watched the Super Bowl. Want to know what else one third of the US population did? They shopped on eBay. eBay is the 2nd largest marketplace in the US by GMV1. 

 The platform attracts a wide variety of automotive segments: everyone from the motorhead to the family car shopper. They come to eBay to purchase all their car essentials and search for everything from GPS devices to Dash Cams and actual vehicles.

Building Trust > Super Bowl Ads

Buying a car is a high stakes decision. Not only are shoppers looking for a vehicle to safely transport their families, they also want to make the purchase without breaking the bank. As interest rates are set to rise in 2019, so will car payments. Money-conscience car shoppers are thoroughly researching their options. According to a Cox Automotive study, approximately 60% of a consumer’s car hunt occurs entirely on the web.

People are looking for trusted sources to provide them with concise, quality information. As the pioneer in digital marketplaces, eBay has built immense trust among their community of buyers and sellers allowing for the most personal of purchases to be made.

By partnering with platforms that value trust, automotive brands have the opportunity to apply the same transparency and reliability that exists for eBay customers to their own advertising budgets.

Engagement is King on eCommerce Platforms

While consumers use eBay to buy a vehicle (every 2 minutes, a car is purchased on eBay2), they also use the platform as a comparison shopping engine. With eCommerce dominating as a search and discovery platform, there are strong shopper intent signals that can be leveraged by advertisers. High engagement on a commerce platform means that brands have more opportunities to drive awareness, consideration, and purchase.

With 2019 automotive sales anticipated to decrease as compared to 2018, automotive brands can still be in the driver’s seat of their media mix without throwing all of their budget into traditional advertising.

Ready to make each moment count in 2019? Contact our ad sales team.


  1. ComScore Media Metrix, Media Trend Report May 2018
  2. eBay First Party Data 2018