Experiential marketing and social media/influencers are generating buzz, but automakers still count on the tried and true 30- and 60-second TV spots to move metal.
Automakers spent an estimated $530.1 million on TV ads during October, an increase of 13.18% from September’s $468.4 million, according to iSpot.tv. Toyota spent the most, an estimated $47.9 million, per iSpot.tv.
The industry saw an increase in impressions, up 4.83% to 42.2 billion from September’s 40.3 billion impressions. There were 33 brands showing 337 spots in 90,949 airings.
Ford narrowly beat Toyota for the most-seen spots in October, with 3.7 billion total impressions.
The most-seen spot, with 1.3 billion impressions, is the creative from Hudson Rouge for the 2020 Lincoln Aviator, "Fresh Take On Movement" featuring Matthew McConaughey. Love them or hate them, it’s undeniable that the McConaughey ads get people talking, and watching, to see what the actor might do next.
Sports programming was a huge driver of impressions for the industry, with NFL football generating over 3.4 billion impressions, followed by college football’s 1.8 billion impressions. The top non-sports program generating high impression counts was The Voice with 171.4 million impressions, according to iSpot.tv.
Similar to September, automakers prioritized spend during football Sundays, and as a result, those days also saw spikes in impressions for the industry.
Hyundai was the No. 3 brand for spend overall during the month, but on Sundays, it outspent the other brands — although that didn’t always translate to more impressions, according to iSpot.tv. Nissan continued its trend of opting for college football Saturdays.
Sports-related programming took six of the top 10 placements when it came to impressions generated. Also notable is that while Fox & Friends had much lower spend than the other shows in the top 10 (an estimated $196,867), it was No. 8 on the list for impressions.
Given the football focus, it makes sense that Sundays and Saturdays were the top two days of the week delivering impressions for automakers. The primetime daypart dominated by a mile (9.19 billion impressions), with weekend afternoons (3.47 billion) and early fringe (2.69 billion) in a distant second and third, according to iSpot.tv.
One of the top performers, a Chevrolet spot "J.D. Power Dependability Awards: Real Presenters"' generated 882 million TV ad impressions with an iSpot Attention Index of 121, meaning it received 21% fewer interruptions than the average auto ad, and an iSpot Attention Score of 94.50.
The Honda CR-V spot "All Walks of Life" generated 602.6 million TV ad impressions with an iSpot Attention Index of 129, meaning it received 29% fewer interruptions than the average auto ad, and an iSpot Attention Score of 95.07.
A spot for Acura, "Two Words" generated 491 million TV ad impressions with an iSpot Attention Index of 162, meaning it received 62% fewer interruptions than the average auto ad, and an iSpot Attention Score of 97.38.
Acura also saw high impression counts from The Walking Dead and Lou Dobbs Tonight, the Honda ad had high impression counts from The Voice and college football, and the Chevrolet ad had high impression counts during MLB baseball including the 2019 World Series.