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Living With Climate Change: Flurry of EV commercials during Super Bowl led to huge jump in searches for this particular SUV (hint: even electric puppies sell)

Was it the liquid eyes of that mechanical mutt or the sleek electric crossover SUV at the curb that got you?

Seven different auto brands aired eight commercials, with six focused solely on their electric offerings, to a captive audience during Sunday night’s Super Bowl.

But one make and model topped all others in luring would-be EV buyers to pull up more images and specifications on the Cars.com shopping marketplace: Kia’s EV6.

The site reported a 921% surge in searches on its site during and just after the EV6 ad aired during the Big Game for Kia’s first dedicated all-electric vehicle. The commercial was also promoted by Kia ahead of its Sunday airing.

Read: Super Bowl commercials go heavy on nostalgia and star power

Kia says the EV6 will boast as much as 300 miles of range on a single charge and will be capable of providing vehicle-to-load charging, meaning its battery can be used to power smaller appliances or charge another EV. 

In fact, that’s the plot point for the robot pup who just wanted to be a “real” dog and find his human, preferably the one behind the wheel of the Kia EV6. Their missed connection, playing out against “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” sends Spot on a city-wide hunt. But just as he nears his reunion, his battery dies. All is not lost — the man gives the dog a charge from his EV6 and off they go.

Trends tend to emerge in the closely scrutinized offering of Super Bowl commercials, and one of those trends definitely was zero-emissions vehicles, as Barron’s reported.

Read: Welcome to the ‘crypto Super Bowl’ with cryptocurrency ads running during the game for the first time

Cars.com
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says it logged an 80% increase in EV page views across the site and apps from fans during the NFL championship looking to learn more about EV models generally.

On Cars.com, searches for EVs have almost doubled since last year. Yet sales of EVs are growing at a slower rate.

Market tracker LMC Automotive expects EVs to make up 34.2% of new U.S. vehicle sales by 2030, with all-electric at 30.1% and plug-in gas/electric hybrids at 4.1%. Sales of EVs, including plug-in hybrids, were only about 4% of total U.S. vehicle sales in 2021. Still, that marked a doubling a growth from just a year earlier.

Read: Super Bowl crypto ads: QR code or Larry David? Here’s how social media reacts

Cars.com analyzed site traffic patterns for advertised car model pages during the eight minutes before each spot aired during the game, and again eight minutes after. General EV traffic patterns were measured week over week. 

Read: How ‘green’ is this Super Bowl? Ocean-friendly straws and Nikola’s hydrogen beer truck try to lower the NFL championship’s carbon footprint

“With automakers using the biggest advertising event of the year to focus on EVs, a shift in consumer adoption could be on the horizon,” said Julie Scott, vice president and general manager of national sales at Cars.com.

Interestingly, Polestar 2 had a “massive spike” in traffic, propelling this lesser-known maker at one point to the No. 1 spot on Cars.com’s most-visited list during the game.

More Sustainable Investing: There’s a smart way to invest in the clean-energy transition right now (and not just EVs, solar and wind)

This Volvo blend of “high tech and modern Swedish styling” is meant to position the Polestar 2 as an answer to the Tesla
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Model 3, Car and Driver says.

“As a new, relatively unknown brand outside of the automotive circles, Polestar stepped into the national spotlight with its Big Game commercial “No Compromises,” Cars.com said in its release. “The new brand had low visibility on Cars.com prior to their ad spot, but saw a 580-times increase to its dedicated pages on the marketplace from EV-curious consumers during the game.”

As for other Super Bowl boosts to Cars.com searches on EV-specific and broader, non-EV pages:

782% — BMW’s “Zeus and Hera” promotion of the BMW iX starring Salma Hayek and Arnold Schwarzenegger;

341% Toyota’s
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celebrity keeping-up-with-the-Joneses’ Tundra race;

120% Nissan’s
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star-studded action commercial spotlighting the Ariya and Nissan Z.

58% GM’s Chevrolet
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recreation of the “Sopranos” series, although pushing the “next generation” by featuring the onscreen daughter and son of the famed central character, played by Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler. The two promoted the all-electric Silverado in the spot directed by original Sopranos showrunner David Chase. The gas-powered version of the pickup truck saw a 115% search boost from the throwback commercial. 

GM also leaned on the nostalgia of Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil character, putting the GMC Hummer EV, electric Chevy Silverado and Cadillac Lyriq from the company’s EV lineup center stage. The 90s ensemble cast scored a 187% search jump for all GM EVs combined. 

Not to be outdone, early 1960s Chevy Impalas crashed the halftime show as three of the classic cars were featured during the performance.

Their big moment increased page views to used Impalas by 164% on Cars.com compared to the previous hour.

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