All eyes were on the gridiron this Sunday for Super Bowl XLVIII, although the stiffest competition this weekend wasn’t between the Seahawks and the Broncos, but between auto advertisers.

Even with every 30 seconds of ad-time costing $4 million, car advertisers were lining up to compete for consumer attention during the Super Bowl. Chrysler even spent about $16 million for a two-minute ad!

So how did this translate into the digital advertising arena?

To understand this, we took a look at clicks and paid-search for the auto industry on Super Bowl Sunday and compared it across our US clients. Our findings were pretty incredible. When looking at paid search trends across the auto industry on Super Bowl Sunday versus the previous Sunday, we saw a staggering 35% jump in impressions and a 39% jump in clicks. In addition, auto advertisers spent 79% more on paid search during Super Bowl Sunday. This translated to a CPC increase of 29% for auto advertisers.

Super bowl ad spend, price of super bowl ad

In contrast, across all our US clients from various verticals and industries, we saw 2% growth in ad spend and a 7% increase in cost-per-click on Super Bowl Sunday.

For auto advertisers, this jump in impressions and clicks on Super Bowl Sunday means that they were successful in capturing the minds of the Super Bowl audience, resulting in top-of-mind awareness and increased interest across viewers. Predictably, many auto advertisers also increased ad spend online in conjunction with their TV ads, in order to capture as much view share as possible within the highly-competitive window of time during the Super Bowl.

So even though the Seattle-Denver matchup was quite a blowout, the auto companies came ready to compete!