Commentary

It's Time for the Auto Industry To Get FULLY Dynamic

 With some of the largest budgets for online advertising, automotive brands have historically played a major role in advancing advertising technology and best practices. Video and dynamic creative represent two significant growth areas of online display advertising, and once again auto marketers are well positioned to lead the charge. But will they?

With myriad car models that appeal to a variety of demographics and multiple layers of distribution and promotion, automotive advertisers are faced with infinite ways to slice and dice a single ad -- sometimes leaving them stuck. The most common mistake is relying on time-intensive efforts to build multiple versions of rich media creative, or simplistic real-time content feeds in FLASH ads to create a sense of immediacy and relevancy with the viewer. Every time automotive advertisers use these antiquated methods, they miss the real opportunity of dynamic advertising.

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Auto brands represent the largest category for TV ad spending: $6 billion in H1 2010, according to Kantar Media -- and already understand the power of video. Their display advertising can be fully dynamic by delivering different videos, graphics, functionality and text based on the audience, all from the same ad. For example, tailor video to audiences based on age, use location-based elements to drive interested buyers to the closest dealer, present video messages in sequence to show different features of a new car model, and the list goes on. The intent is to drive measurably higher performance, maximize ad spend and ultimately create better audience experiences.

Why is this particularly critical to the auto industry? Auto advertisers know that sight, sound, and motion work in their advertising. With dynamic video advertising, they can leverage a single video creative with different features or calls to action to meet two separate goals online -- brand advertising and in-market, or demand generation, advertising. They can maintain consistency in their campaigns and, when using existing television assets, create a fully integrated, powerful video strategy across TV and online. Recent Yahoo analysis of Nielsen data shows that if a user views one online exposure before the TV ad, brand recall increases by 18%.

When focusing on branding, the key is to make ads relevant, personal and exciting to increase viewer engagement. That requires presenting different creative and core messages based on age, sex, location, and the user's preferences. It's impossible to do this with a simple dynamic text feed in a banner ad.

In-market advertisers can benefit from the same dynamic elements by swapping out key manufacturer incentives or rebates, presenting different calls to action, integrating social media or offering the opportunity to telescope deeper within the ad to specific features. Based on the audience and how they interact with a video ad, in-market auto advertisers can dynamically present additional video to be viewed within the same ad experience.

Successful automotive applications of dynamic video advertising technology share key attributes. First, they are user-initiated, which puts the user in charge of their ad experience -- and provide elevated performance around consideration and intent metrics. In-banner video ads deliver 25 times the number of views compared to clicks for standard banners. Second, they use dynamic elements that range from text, to graphics, to additional video to create a highly relevant and personal experience. Auto advertisers are the most sophisticated in media targeting, so targeting creative to their audiences is crucial to increase overall campaign performance. Third, they use smart technology to optimize the experience so the ads learn and perform better over time and provide valuable insights to the advertiser about which creative engages viewers most effectively. Finally, they are easy to execute.

The auto industry needs to be on the vanguard of this movement toward fully dynamic video advertising. With some of the most compelling video-based advertising content available and the media dollars to make a difference, auto advertisers can take the lead to show that the combination of TV and online provides a smarter mix. It would be a shame to spend online budgets on static banners, or "dynamic" ads that are limited to simple FLASH creative and content feeds, when fully dynamic video advertising leverages the power of sight, sound and motion to engage potential car buyers more easily and effectively than ever before.

3 comments about "It's Time for the Auto Industry To Get FULLY Dynamic".
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  1. Bob Kiger from Videography Lab, October 19, 2010 at 5:14 p.m.

    The issue, US car sales, is much more basic than "automotive advertising" techniques. It goes to the core of manufacturing, trade, resources, R/D and enabling technologies. See today's NY Times. "China Is Said to Halt Exports to U.S. of Some Key Minerals" http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/business/global/20rare.html?_r=1&nl=&emc=aua2

    In the US while we Quibble about silly issues, China is busy manufacturing stuff!

  2. Catherine Spurway from PointRoll, October 19, 2010 at 5:53 p.m.

    Completely agree with your point "It would be a shame to spend online budgets on static banners, or "dynamic" ads that are limited to simple Flash creative and content feeds."

    Ford has been a leader in digital innovation and dynamic ads along with PointRoll, as we've been delivering interactive, dynamic video campaigns for Ford for quite some time. The results have been extremely positive.

    In working with several auto advertisers and their agencies we've found that the most successful campaigns leveraging dynamic technology not only create a relevant ad by adjusting offers but changing the local dealer video on the fly based on geo detection, changing offers, promotions, creative elements based on the audience/BT AND including rich interactive elements such as 360 degree vehicle views, color and car customizers, hot-spotting and other activities to engage consumers.

    To further engage consumers auto advertisers have to get their brands, offers, etc. into in-market consumer's hands. We're delivering mobile dynamic ads which have been successful, adding touch to the sight, sound and motion you mention -- moving buyers and ultimately moving metal.

    Have case studies/research if interested - cspurway@pointroll.com.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, October 19, 2010 at 7:18 p.m.

    Who said Americans are smart enough to figure out they signed their futures over to China by buying houses, cars and other stuff by borrowing from China? So, how many insignificant chachkas are Americans going to buy this hoiday season that say Made In China?

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