It official Toyota has won the Super Bowl pre-game blitz.

By now you know the strategy: Nearly $4 million is a lot of dough for a 30-second Super Bowl ad, so marketers taking the plunge are under more pressure than ever to make it count. That now generally means releasing the ad, and teasers, on the web early and unleashing huge PR and social media campaigns to gather up as many impressions as possible before and after the actual game.

Over the past few years, Honda ‘s Ferris Bueller ad and Volkswagen ‘s “The Force” worked that pre-game strategy to perfection . In Volkswagen’s case that was after a heated internal debate over whether to release the spot early at all and thus ruin the surprise; it decided to risk it.

This year, another automaker is a clear pre-game winner: Toyota . As of Friday morning, the automaker has more than 11 million views on its “Wish Granted” campaign, including 3.2 million on this excellent teaser , according to Visible Measures, which tracks all views across the web, not just YouTube.

Volkswagen came in at No. 2, with a little over 6 million views, no doubt in part driven by the controversy over “Get Happy,” but also driven by a teaser with nearly 1.5 million views .

What we’ve learned over the past few years is that lots of pre-game views are helpful, there are more views to be had over the weeks that follow. Last year, for example, while Honda took pre-game honors, Volkswagen’s “Dog Strikes Back” had racked up 31 million views a week after the game.

I think the new Toyota spot is too close in concept to so many spots on air lately…State Farm for one. Although it won this pre game poll and seems to be popular, as a creative director I can’t believe they could not be more original.


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