After four consecutive years buying a spot during the most-watched U.S. sporting event, David MacNeil has no plans to quit the Super Bowl.
"It works, it's good, and we get a lot of press from it," said the CEO of Bolingbrook-based MacNeil Automotive Products LLC, whose WeatherTech floor mats will be showcased in a 30-second spot (watch it below) during the Feb. 5 game. "The public is really interested in seeing the commercials. And they get the message across."
MacNeil will be watching along with more than 110 million people when his company's ad runs during the first half of the game.
The $5 million price tag for the air time — plus millions more to produce and promote it, according to MacNeil — is worth it, given the bump in business the company has seen after each of the past three Super Bowls. Traffic to WeatherTech.com after the 2016 Super Bowl was 756 percent higher than it was after the 2015 game, he said.
This year's WeatherTech ad takes a different tack from those of the past three years. The spot, titled "Tech Team," shows an action hero-like WeatherTech installation agent leaping onto a moving car and dramatically dropping in a floor mat to guard against a coffee spill —right after a quick response team on the factory floor creates the tool, then molds the mat. MacNeil has both injection molding and thermoforming.
It's a departure from an emotional appeal last year that highlighted factory workers as the company's greatest "natural resource" and promoted the company's Made in America tagline.
The American-made focus is still there this year, "but we're doing it in a more humorous, more interesting, more action-packed way," MacNeil said. "I think we've already hit the nail right on the head with American factories, hiring American. We've introduced ourselves with that (in previous years). Now we're showing the product actually in use."
American-made products have been getting more political attention recently thanks to President Donald Trump promising to revitalize American manufacturing. But MacNeil stresses his company has been beating that drum for a while.
"We've been on a steady course of supporting American jobs, American factories, American business and of course the American workers for many years before there was anything political about it," he said. "We're continuing on that exact same path we've always been on because that's what we believe in."