Automakers spent 13% more on national TV in 2021 vs. 2020, but TV ad impressions dipped slightly, per iSpot.tv.
August 2021 spending increased $13.7 million to $121.9 million compared to $108.2 million in 2020. August 2021 TV ad impressions registered at 25.4 billion, down from 26.9 billion in 2020.
The top five Brands by spending in August 2021 were Toyota ($19.9 million), Jeep ($14.1 million), Nissan ($12.4 million), Chevrolet ($11.1 million) and Ford ($8.6 million).
The most-seen automaker ads in August were Jeep: "Wildly Civilized" (1.26 billion TV ad impressions), Nissan: "Return to Rugged" (1.04 billion), Chevrolet: "Open" (998 million), Ram Trucks: "Make This the Summer of Ram" (877 million) and Nissan: "60 Years in 30 Seconds" (755 million).
Toyota spent heavily on the Olympics in Tokyo, with nearly 70% of national TV ad spend going toward the international event that it sponsors. Preseason NFL football (2.54%) was the only other program, with more than 2% of Toyota’s spend during the month.
Automakers flocked to the Olympics in August to get in front of a nationwide audience tuning in to the Games across a variety of NBCUniversal-owned networks and platforms, said Stuart Schwartzapfel, senior vice president, media partnerships at iSpot.tv.
"The emphasis on tentpole events like the Olympics and NFL preseason didn't mean a departure from local ads, though, with auto brands actually increasing share of local impressions compared to July as they look to move inventory in specific markets,” Schwartzapfel tells Marketing Daily.
The top five brands by impressions in August 2021 were Nissan (2.96 billion), Toyota (2.92 billion), Chevrolet (1.97 billion), Jeep (1.95 billion) and Hyundai (1.75 billion).
The biggest spend increases among top 10 brands by spend in August 2021 compared to a year ago were Ford (up 296%), Jeep (up 118%), Nissan (up 83%), Lincoln (up 83%) and Chevrolet (up 80%).
Ford also advertised heavily during the Olympics, with 25% of the brand’s August national TV ad spend going toward the Games. The same goes for Jeep, with 16% of August spend dedicated to the Olympics as well -- a program that wasn’t an option during August 2020. For Chevy, the Olympics made up over 60% of national TV ad spend for the month.
Top shows for automaker TV ad impressions in August 2021 were the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (1.44 billion), NFL Preseason (205 million), Major League Baseball (202 million), Live Coverage: Tracking Ida (195 million) and “Today” (178 million).
Over 23% of auto brands’ TV ad impressions in August came from sports, though reality TV actually made up 12.8% of impressions on its own. While there was an influx of sports returning last August that helped deliver a lot of impressions for auto brands, this year also has the advantage of both the Olympics and preseason NFL games -- neither of which appeared on TV last August.
The top networks for automaker TV ad impressions in August were NBC (1.75 billion), MSNBC (645 million), Fox News (614 million), CBS (577 million) and the Weather Channel (551 million).
Cable news TV ad impressions spiked toward the end of August between the situation in Afghanistan and Hurricane Ida. The Weather Channel, in particular, saw large TV ad impression numbers around Hurricane Ida coverage, as indicated by its appearing among the top programs as well, despite only running for a few days during the month.