Automotive National TV Spending Declines 5.3% In January

Automakers spent an estimated $395.3 million on national TV spots in January, down 5.3% year over year from $417.6 million in 2022.

However, automotive TV ad impressions were 23.9 billion, up 2.8% year over year from 23.3 billion, per 

The top five brands by estimated national TV ad spending for the month were Chevrolet ($50.7 million), GMC ($39.3 million), Hyundai ($38.5 million), Toyota ($35.6 million) and Mercedes-Benz ($31 million).

The most-seen automaker ads for the month were Chevrolet with  "Adventure is Everywhere" (4.66%) and "Walk Away With Me" (3.15%). Rounding out the top five were Lexus: "Electrified" (2.81%), Kia: "Beachcomber" (2.63%) and Buick: "Quadruple Take" (2.31%).



Chevrolet started 2023 strong, with a 20% increase in ad airings compared to January 2022 and an 8.3% year-over-year increase in estimated national TV ad spend. GMC, meanwhile, had a notable 132.3% year-over-year increase in spend, with larger outlays toward NFL and related gameday coverage, plus an investment in NBA games (where it didn’t spend at all in January 2022). 

Sports-related programming accounted for over 91% of GMC’s estimated national TV ad spend last January, and over 97% in January 2023 (led by the NFL, at 78% on its own), per

The top five brands by share of automaker TV ad impressions for the month were Toyota (10.16%), Chevrolet (9.80%), Hyundai (9.23%), Lexus (8.96%) and Honda (7.41%).

The biggest spend increases among top 15 brands by spend, year over year were  Volkswagen (+1,241%), GMC (+132%), Acura (+57.0%), Mercedes-Benz (+19.7%) and Kia (+19.2%).

Volkswagen burst into the top 10 automakers by estimated spend in January 2023 with a whopping 1,241% year-over-year increase. Nearly half of its entire outlay for the month went toward ads airing during the NFL conference championship games on Jan. 29, per

Acura, which saw a 57% year-over-year increase in spend, also upped its ad airings in January 2023 by 659% compared to January 2022, with an emphasis on men’s college basketball and NBA action (98 ad airings apiece). But it was the NFL that accounted for the largest share of Acura’s January spend (81.8%), while NFL games accounted for 74.6% of Mercedes-Benz’s budget for the month.  

The top programs for automakers by share of TV ad impressions for the month were NFL (24.69%), men’s college basketball (2.89%), NBA (2.73%), college football (2.28%) and SportsCenter (1.46%).

Although the NFL clearly remains a behemoth for the industry, automakers saw a 20.5% year-over-year decrease in impressions during NFL games in January. NBA games, on the other hand, saw a 42% year-over-year increase in automaker TV ad impressions, per 

Leading up to the Super Bowl, NFL Playoff games provide a unique opportunity for enormous audience reach, without Super Bowl pricing attached, said Stuart Schwartzapfel, senior vice president, media partnerships at iSpot. 

“Automakers took full advantage of the month’s biggest tentpole event in 2023, with brands like Acura, Ford and Volkswagen launching new ad creatives during the playoffs,” Schwartzapfel tells Marketing Daily.

Other top programs with year-over-year impression increases include SportsCenter (up 19.3%), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (up 35.5%) and “The Big Bang Theory” (up 24.3%)  

The top networks by share of automaker TV ad impressions for January were Fox (12.23%), NBC (11.93%), CBS (11.19%), ESPN (6.91%) and ABC (5.34%).

NFL games and related coverage drives Fox to the top of the network ranking, as the NFL accounts for over 80% of automaker TV ad impressions on the network. 

Similarly, NBC leans heavily on the NFL, with games and related coverage delivering 61.9% of TV ad impressions on the network, though that’s actually down slightly from 64.6% last January. 

ABC grew its share of automotive TV ad impressions year-over-year, up from 4.36% in January 2022, with the NFL, “Good Morning America” and “Jeopardy!”as the top three impressions-driving programs. Notably, “Jeopardy!” jumped into third place this year from No. 28 in 2022.  

1 comment about "Automotive National TV Spending Declines 5.3% In January".
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  1. T Bo from Wordpress, February 15, 2023 at 7:49 a.m.

    Still a remarkable onslaught for the stratum of Americans that can afford to buy.

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