Automotive National TV Spending Down 19% In August

Automakers spent an estimated $98.6 million in August on national TV, down 19% from August 2021, according to

August TV ad impressions were also down 16.4% year over year to 22.5 billion compared to 26.9 billion in August 2021.

The five brands spending the most were Subaru ($10.4 million), Jeep ($9.3 million), Kia ($8.3 million), Nissan ($8.0 million) and Toyota ($7.4 million).

The most-seen automaker ads for the month were  Hyundai: Get In And Get Away (4.87% of automaker TV ad impressions); Nissan: 60 Years In 30 Seconds (3.45%); Hyundai: County Fair (3.29%); Chevrolet: Muddy (3.15%) and Jeep: Reservations (2.89%).



Auto brands are preparing for a busy fall of 2023 with vehicle rollouts coinciding with the return of both the NFL and college football, says Stuart Schwartzapfel, senior vice president, media partnerships at

“As we’re moving into September and October, expect ads around this year’s remaining vehicles to become more locally targeted as national spots highlight new inventory,” Schwartzapfel tells Marketing Daily.

One of the biggest differences year-over-year in August is that Toyota’s spend decreased significantly without Olympics programming (from $19.7 million to $7.4 million).  In August 2021, more than 70% of Toyota’s estimated national TV advertising spend was dedicated to Summer Olympics programming. 

Subaru, meanwhile, spent an estimated $1.9 million more this August vs. last August, with a focus a variety of programming from syndicated shows like Law & Order: SVU and Young Sheldon, to new-airing premium shows like Today, America’s Got Talent and Good Morning America.

The top five brands by share of automaker TV ad impressions for the month were Hyundai (8.74%), Toyota (8.59%), Chevrolet (8.29%), Subaru (7.00%) and Jeep (6.38%).

The biggest spending increases among top 20 brands by spend for August 2022 compared to a year ago were Land Rover (+9,000%), Cadillac (+1,451%), Volkswagen (+494.3%), Honda (+142.3%) and Hyundai (+75.6%).

Land Rover spent $2.0 million this August vs. $22,000 year-ago. Cadillac spent $3.2 million this August compared to $203,0000 a year-ago.

Land Rover aired just 10 national TV ads last August, but had 1,494 in Aug. 2022 while leaning primarily on NFL preseason games (about 33% of est. national TV ad spend in the timeframe). Cadillac’s year-over-year rise was fueled by 22x more ad airings on national TV, but also a focus on premium programming like ABC World News Tonight With David Muir, NFL preseason games, SportsCenter and Today, which were almost entirely absent from ad buys last August, per

The top programs for automakers by TV ad impressions share of voice in Aug was NFL (2.21%), MLB (2.05%), PGA Tour Golf (1.52%), Law & Order: SVU (1.30%) and Today (1.21%).

Despite August typically being a lighter month on the sports calendar, automakers made the most of the events that were on TV – in particular, NFL preseason games, which grew share of ad impressions from 1.32% to 2.21% year-over-year, per

Growth by share of TV ad impressions also came from specific genres like reality shows (from 12.72% to 14.16%), drama & action shows (8.83% to 10.90%), and comedy & variety shows (from 2.53% to 3.46%).

The top networks by share of automaker TV ad impressions for the month were NBC (6.52%), MSNBC (4.97%), Fox News (4.41%), CBS (4.30%) and ION (3.41%).

Not having Olympic content was not a problem for NBC, which stays at the top of this list year-over-year just the same. Today accounted for 18.6% of automaker TV ad impressions on NBC in August, while America’s Got Talent was 15.3% and the PGA Tour was 11.2%. 

Cable news also grew its share of auto brands’ TV ad impressions compared to last August. MSNBC increased from 4.35% to 4.97% of Aug. impressions, Fox News climbed from 4.14% to 4.41%, and CNN moves from 2.10% to 2.93%.

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