General Motors spent $97.2 million on Super Bowl ads alone between 2003 and 2013. It's just part of the reason the company found itself in bankruptcy and government hands for its trouble.
Though it's back and has bought out Uncle Sam's stake in the company, it's treading lightly on Super Bowl Sunday. It sat out last year completely, but now has at least $16 million invested in two 60-second ads. That's not a bad plan, as six auto manufacturers who weren't GM bought ads in 2013. Exactly two auto manufacturers did the same in 2003.The pressure isn't letting up this year, either. Volkswagen is spending $8 million on a 60-second spot for Audi and another $8 million on a 60-second ad for its core brand. Hyundai and Kia are combining for at least $12 million for two Hyundai spots and at least one Kia ad. Meanwhile, Toyota's dropping $8 million on its own 60-second spot, while Jaguar is taking an $8 million gamble on the luxury market with the first Super Bowl ad it's ever run. With all of those competitors stacked against it, just about the only good news GM's received is from its Michigan neighbors Ford and Chrysler, who appear to bee sitting out this year's festivities.