Auto Makers Making Good Use of Online Advertising

    April 14, 2009
    Chris Crum

Research from comScore recently showed that auto makers are doing pretty well with online advertising. In particular, they are using the medium to push SUVs. comScore explains one example:

In order to understand how automakers have taken to the online channel for marketing purposes, let’s take the example of one of the larger model-specific campaigns that ran in January: GMC Yukon. Using comScore Ad Metrix, our competitive display advertising intelligence service, we learned that the Yukon went to market with an online media strategy that delivered ad impressions across a broad set of site categories and achieved a commanding 34% share of voice versus its SUV competitors, with the campaign reaching 4.4% of the total U.S. Internet population an average of 2.7 times per person in just one month.

Here’s what total campaign levels looked like for January:

Total Campaign Levels

"Right now, cost-effective marketing is more important than ever, and that may be a key reason why the auto industry is increasingly moving its ad spend online," says comScore’s Jeff Hackett.

Banner and Video display ads in general have continued to rise. There is no reason why auto makers wouldn’t be on the bandwagon too. In fact, they’re also utilizing social media.

Nielsen has a comparison of Auto Ad Spend between popular social networks Facebook and MySpace:

Facebook and MySpace

"When it comes to auto ads, MySpace continues to garner more overall ad spend: Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan and Toyota all recently ran ads, with the Honda Fit campaign generating more than 600 million ad impressions in the first quarter of 2009," says Nielsen. "A year earlier, Toyota generated over 2.5 billion impressions for its Matrix.  This year, Toyota has allocated more of its ad dollars to Facebook."

I recently speculated that Facebook could cut into Google’s ad revenue as the gap in unique visitors narrows between the two Internet giants. I wonder if that happened at all here. On a related note, there has been a decline in search engine advertising per ad in recent months.