Automakers Underspend on Media that Influence Buyers

April 16, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Automotive | Newspapers | Out-of-Home | Radio | Television

Some 17.5% of General Motors customers say TV influences their auto purchase, but GM spent 40% of its $3 Billion+ ad budget on TV ads in 2006 (proportions similar to other leading automakers’), according to an analysis by BIGresearch.

The analysis comes amid reports of automakers’ reallocation of more dollars to digital advertising. But those moves may not be going far enough, suggests BIGresearch’s? most recent Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM 11, Dec. 07) of 15,727 participants.

Top automotive advertisers pumped by far the greatest percentage of their media dollars into TV in ’06 – the most unbalanced media spend compared with the medium’s influence on consumers to purchase (approximately 40% vs. 17-18% for major automakers):


Because such a large portion of ad dollars were allocated to TV, automakers in under-spent on other forms of media, such as newspaper, magazines, radio and the internet, BIGresearch said.

For example, Ford spent only 5.89% of its budget on newspaper advertising, which influences 16.5% of its customers:


“Automakers are making advances in a consumer-centric media world by integrating new media into their advertising strategy,” said Gary Drenik, president of BIGresearch. “However, when you look at which media their customers say influences them to purchase a car, they are over-allocating ad dollars on TV and under-spending on internet, outdoor, radio and print.”

BIGresearch provides additional info, including charts of top automotive advertisers and what their customers say influences them to purchase.

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