GM, Toyota Vie for Top Online Advertiser Spot among Auto Manufacturers

March 28, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Automotive | Brand Metrics | Creative & Formats | Promotions, Coupons & Co-op

GM delivered 27% more online display ads than Toyota in January, but Toyota delivered 32% more ads per person reached, according to the first public release of advertiser-level data from comScore‘s Ad Metrix service, in this case for online advertising by auto manufacturers.

GM Leads in Online Ads among Auto Manufacturers


  • General Motors was the top online advertiser among auto manufacturers in January, delivering nearly 1.7 billion total display ad views in the US, followed by Toyota (1.4 billion) and Ford Motor Company (1.1 billion).
  • General Motors also led in reach, with approximately 103 million unique individuals receiving their display ads during the month, followed by Ford which reached 95 million people and Toyota which reached 62 million.
  • But, both General Motors and Ford were outmatched by Toyota in terms of ads delivered per person reached: Toyota delivered a frequency of 22 ads per person during the month, compared with 16 for General Motors and 11 for Ford.

“GM has really led the auto industry in its use of online advertising,” said Alistair Sutcliffe, comScore Advertising Solutions VP. “And, their recent announcement that half of their $3 billion annual advertising budget would be spent online in the coming years is likely to be a bellwether for many industries.”

Portals and Auto-Resource Sites Are Advertised on Most


The top publisher sites on which auto manufacturers advertise are primarily portals and auto resource sites. Yahoo Sites (936 million display ad views) and Microsoft Sites (585 million display ad views) deliver the most total impressions for auto manufacturers, and both also deliver significant reach with these impressions.

Auto resource sites also factor prominently into auto manufacturers’ online advertising strategies, with AutoTrader (114 million display ad views) and (98 million display ad views) leading the way. Though these sites have a narrower reach than portals, they represent a desirable and highly targeted audience for auto manufacturers.

Toyota Scion xB Has Most-Viewed Display Ad

comScore Ad Metrix also provides visibility into aspects of the display ads being viewed, including ad size and file type:


  • The majority of the top 10 auto manufacturer display ads in January were for new model introductions, with the Toyota Scion xB 120 x 240 flash (swf) ad ranking atop the list with 12.6% of all display ad views in the category.
  • Honda’s “Battle of the Bands” ad ranked second with 2.9%, followed by a Chevy Malibu new model ad with a 2.4% share.

“Many traditional advertisers are beginning to understand that the internet enables them to efficiently build their brands by achieving their demographic reach and frequency goals while at the same time reaching the most attractive, behaviorally defined target segments. This is a winning recipe for achieving an attractive return on one’s advertising investment,” Sutcliffe said.

About the data: comScore Ad Metrix measures the number of times each advertisers’ ads are viewed and where they are viewed, along with information on the demographics and online behavior of internet users being reached. comScore Ad Metrix also provides reach and frequency calculations, samples of the creative ad units delivered, and information on ad sizes.

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