Suzuki 2012 Super Bowl ad

Suzuki is about as small as automakers get here in the United States, even if its parent company does mad business in Japan and other parts of the world. So when the scrappy purveyor of the SX4 and Grand Vitara says it will again be ponying up for Super Bowl ads featuring its Kizashi mid-size sedan, it raises some eyebrows, including ours.

Super Bowl ads are notoriously expensive, and Suzuki sold just 26,619 vehicles in the U.S. in 2011. Based on last year's $2.8-$3 million ad cost estimates, that would be over $100 per vehicle. But Suzuki's 2011 ads only aired in 14 targeted markets, presumably bringing the cost down substantially. (Suzuki tells us it will be running its 2012 ad regionally as well.) We've seen some reports pegging its Super Bowl budget last year at $2 million, which still works out to $75 per Suzuki sold. For comparison, Chevrolet spent an estimated $15 million (five spots) on the 2011 Super Bowl, and sold 1,775,812 vehicles, which works out to about $8.45 per car.

Suzuki sent us the teaser image above, which looks like it will continue the snow theme of last year's "Wicked Weather" ad, which featured evil snowmen chasing an all-wheel-drive Kizashi. If you missed it because you don't live in the snow belt, we've got the long version embedded after the jump.

UPDATE: Suzuki contacted us, saying that the report of a $2 million ad spend last year was wrong. According to the automaker, it only spent $200,000 on its regional Super Bowl ads in 2011, meaning the per car cost was much, much lower – a mere $7.51 per car. "We have attempted to be fiscally responsible in every facet of our business," said Suzuki spokesman Jeff Holland, "and this includes ad buys like our new Super Bowl spot."