Automakers spent an estimated $519 million on TV ads during November, a decrease of 2.1% from October’s $530.1 million — although top-spender Toyota increased its spend from October, according to iSpot.tv,
The industry also experienced a decrease in TV ad impressions, down 2.04% to 41.4 billion from October’s 42.2 billion impressions, although airings were up 2.41% to over 93K (vs. 90.9K in October). In all, 32 brands ran 371 spots for a total of 93,143 airings.
The most-seen spot, with 1.4 billion impressions, was the Chevrolet Black Friday sales event spot, “Lots to Love.”
Toyota spent the most (an estimated $52.3 million), an increase from its October spend (an estimated $47.9 million). From an overall brand standpoint, Ford narrowly beat Toyota for the most-seen ads (3.78 billion impressions).
With sports dominating programming, the segment was by far the biggest driver of impressions for the industry, with NFL football generating nearly 3.7 billion impressions, followed by college football’s 2.4 billion impressions (up for both over October’s numbers).
“Fox and Friends” was the top non-sports program that generated high impression-counts, with 226.3 million TV ad impressions. But perhaps more notable is that the top non-sports/non-news program with the most impressions was “The Big Bang Theory” (169.7 million impressions), which had its series finale this past May and is now in syndicated reruns.
Reruns on TBS generated the most impressions for automakers (151.2 million) than the other two networks the series ran on in November (Fox had 15.1 million impressions for automakers and MyNetworkTV had 3.4 million.) But iSpot.tv suggests taking that with a grain of salt, because the number of episodes that ran on each of those networks — and thus possible impressions — varies.
As seen earlier this fall, automakers prioritized spend during football Sundays, and as a result those days also saw consistent spikes in impressions for the industry. Ford had a particularly large outlay during NFL football on Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving Day), and also generated the most impressions of the top five brands that day, according to iSpot.tv.
Sports-related programming took five of the top ten placements when it came to impressions generated (in October, sports held six spots), and four of the top 10 placements were news programs.
Three of those news programs had under $275K in spend (“FOX and Friends,” “Fox News at Night With Shannon Bream” and “Morning Joe.”)
Given the football focus, it makes sense that Sundays and Saturdays were the top two days of the week delivering impressions for automakers. The prime-time daypart dominated with 7.9 billion impressions, with weekend afternoons (4.1 billion) and early fringe (2.6 billion) in second and third, respectively.
iSpot.tv has attention analytics that measure both the propensity for viewers to interrupt ad play during a commercial versus the average (the iSpot Attention Index), as well as the average percentage of an ad that is played across TV devices (the iSpot Attention Score).
While NFL football was the number-one impressions driver for the Chevrolet and Honda spots, reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” drove high impression-counts for each of the spots. Subaru also saw success with the History series “The Curse of Oak Island.”
The Chevrolet TV spot, "J.D. Power Quality Awards: Packed House" generated over 1 billion TV ad impressions with an iSpot Attention Index of 115, meaning it received 15% fewer interruptions than the average auto ad, and an iSpot Attention Score of 94.76.
The Honda TV spot, "Safety Affects Everyone" generated 631 million TV ad impressions with an iSpot Attention Index of 122 (22% fewer interruptions than the average auto ad), and an iSpot Attention Score of 95.18.
The Subaru Ascent TV spot, "Dream Big" generated 574 million TV ad impressions with an iSpot Attention Index of 138 (38% fewer interruptions than the average auto ad), and an iSpot Attention Score of 96.19.
Both the Honda and Subaru spots are heavy on emotion, which seems par for the course during the holiday season.