West Michigan's Kate Upton to be featured in Super Bowl ad

3:21 PM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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Kate Upton, shown Feb. 14, 2012, promoting the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, will star in a Mercedes-Benz Super Bowl commercial. / Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

(Detroit Free Press) - This year, automakers will return to the Super Bowl in full force, hoping to make big impressions with their cars.

Mercedes-Benz has enlisted supermodel Kate Upton, Lincoln has employed comedian Jimmy Fallon while Kia appears to be dumping sex appeal for family fun.

Many automakers are trying to build buzz through teaser ads and social media campaigns.

Below is a rundown of what we know so far. The Free Press will update this list as Super Bowl XLVII approaches and more ads are released:

(MOBILE USERS: Watch video here http://bit.ly/WnQlzF)

Audi: For the first time in Audi's history, the brand will let the public select which Super Bowl spot they'd like to see run during the big game.

The German luxury brand, returning to the Super Bowl for the sixth consecutive year, plans to release three versions of its 60-second ad.

Audi is asking the public to vote on their favorite version and will reveal the three ads tonight at midnight on Audi's YouTube page.

In the spot, viewers will follow a nervous teenage boy prepares for prom night. His problem: He doesn't have a date until his dad gives him the keys to an Audi S6.

Chrysler: Chrysler has purchased airtime, but has declined to reveal any details about the amount of time or the number of commercials it is planning.

Chrysler is coming off of back-to-back blockbuster ads. In 2011, Chrysler made its mark with the first automaker to air a two-minute Super Bowl featuring Eminem and the "Imported from Detroit," tagline and in 2012 the automaker created a political stir with Clint Eastwood in "Halftime in America."

Cars.com: This online car shopping sight wants to capture a larger number of car purchases by convincing people that it offers a "no drama" way buying a car. It has released a teaser ad that has plenty of drama.

Fiat: Like last year, there is a good chance that Fiat will again employ a combination of humor and sex appeal in a 30-second spot.

One option under consideration for the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio shows a woman on a beach with a black scorpion crawling on her back. Fiat has other options as well, an ad titled "Sisters" and one titled "Date."

Ford & Lincoln:

Ford hasn't advertised in the Super Bowl for several years and won't be there this year either. But Lincoln is a different story.

Jim Farley, Ford's executive vice president of global marketing, doesn't believe that the Super Bowl is a wise place for mainstream, established brands to spend their money.

Lincoln will be in the Super Bowl for the first time ever with a 60-second spot crafted by comedian Jimmy Fallon.

General Motors: GM, historically one of the Super Bowl's biggest spenders, decided last spring to skip this year's big game, confusing analysts who thought it would be a great opportunity to promote the new Chevrolet Corvette or the new Chevrolet Silverado.

Hyundai: In its sixth consecutive year as a Super Bowl advertiser, Hyundai said it has five game-day ads, including four all-new spots, planned.

The Korean automaker has again secured a 60-second commercial just before the kickoff. Two additional 30-second commercials will during the game and two will air during the pregame show.

Hyundai's commercials will highlight its Santa Fe crossover, Sonata Turbo full-size sedan and Genesis R-Spec luxury sedan.

Kia: Kia has purchased a 30-second and a 60-second spot. At least one of the spots will feature the redesigned Sorento crossover.

According to Kia, its Super Bowl commercial, "will present an answer to an age-old question that has left generations of parents stuttering and searching carefully for words to help them escape an awkward yet truthful situation."

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz has enlisted supermodel Kate Upton and music star Usher to appear in their advertisement to launch its new, entry-level CLA-Class sedan.

The 60-second ad, which will air during the fourth quarter, will reveal the price of the car.

Mercedes is using an extensive social media campaign to build buzz for its ad. The German automaker has released six different teaser ads, including a sexually suggestive commercial with Upton watching several guys wash a car.

Toyota: Actress Kaley Cuoco, star of CBS show "The Big Bang Theory," will be featured in Toyota's commercial for its RAV4 crossover.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen is returning to the Super Bowl for the fifth consecutive year.

Volkswagen's "The Force," in 2011, and "The Dog Strikes Back," in 2012, are among the most memorable and critically acclaimed commercials from the automotive industry in recent years.

This years' ad "will build on the brand's tradition of sharing simple, human stories," Volkswagen said.

Contact Brent Snavely: 313-222-6512 or bsnavely@freepress.com

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