Super Bowl ads: ‘Austin Powers’ villains fight climate change

Super Bowl ads: 'Austin Powers' villains fight climate change

DETROIT – General Motors will ride the wave of nostalgic Hollywood reboots for its Super Bowl 56 commercial by resurrecting villains from the “Austin Powers” movie franchise to promote its new electric vehicles.

The 60-second spot stars actor and comedian Mike Myers reclaiming his role as Dr. Evil from the spy comedy trilogy that ran from 1997 to 2002. It also features Dr. Evil’s sidekicks played by Rob Lowe, Seth Green and Mindy Sterling.

The ad starts with the villains taking over GM’s headquarters in Detroit. Dr. Evil then plans to overtake the world, but the henchmen convince him to instead first fight climate change – “arguably the No. 1 threat to the world now,” Green’s character says – before attempting to overtake the planet.

Aside from the characters themselves, the ad features jokes and themes from the “Austin Powers” movies. It also includes GM’s new “Ultium” EV platform, several of the automaker’s new EVs and autonomous concept vehicles, including a simulated “flying car.”

The ad is part of the automaker’s “Everybody In” marketing campaign, which it announced just over a year ago to raise awareness of its electric vehicles, including 30 new EVs globally by 2025.

“We still need to continue work on that idea of normalizing EVs and help Americans across the country actually see themselves in one,” GM Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl said during a media briefing. “This is really a core part of our entire business strategy at General Motors. We’ll have an EV for every price point and lifestyle.”

GM’s “Everybody In” campaign made its Super Bowl debut last year, with an ad featuring actor and comedian Will Ferrell waging a battle against Norway over EVs.

The new ad marks the second-consecutive year GM is rebooting a movie for a Super Bowl ad. In 2021, the automaker resurrected the 1990 film “Edward Scissorhands” for its luxury Cadillac brand.

Wahl declined to comment on how much GM spent to produce and air the ad. A 30-second spot in the Super Bowl costs advertisers around $6.5 million, with multiple spots selling for $7 million, according to industry magazine AdAge.

Below is a 90-second version of GM’s new ad, which the company released Thursday ahead of the game. It was developed by the Detroit-based office of McCann Worldgroup.