Commentary

Does Auto Strike TV News Video Work Well With Carmakers' TV Advertising?

Were car manufacturers just thinking positively about the consumer automobile buying market?

Or did they know something was coming -- like a possible long-term strike?

Who is buying for the long road?

During the weekend and Monday after the UAW strike was announced -- September 15-September 18 -- vehicle manufacturers were ramping up their TV marketing spend -- so much so that there was a 44% increase from a year-ago period, and 16% higher from the previous-week period, according to Samba TV.

The result? The jury is still out.

We know that major TV brand advertisers can buy advertising time up to a year before -- or months before the actual schedule for the money. 

And to be fair, the mid-September move came at the start of the fall TV season -- where automotive and other advertising typically ramps up spending as consumers and kids and teens get back to their respective work and/or school responsibilities.

The fall can be one of the major selling times to buy a car as new next-year models are being presented to consumers.

Of course, for many, much of this might seem to be a diversion at best for marketers. “Don’t mind the striking worker video outside our production plants. Just focus on the great deal you can get for the current year’s brand new cars.”

Higher TV automotive advertising also comes just as the car market is getting its bearings -- now that the computer-chip shortage has ended to some extent, but not completely. After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shortage put a big kibosh on automotive advertising.

That period offered few reasons to go to the dealership. Now with ramped-up production, automotive makers have been all too happy to spend a little on advertising/messaging on TV airwaves.

Samba says U.S.-based Ford saw the most dramatic increase year-over-year, up 375%, followed by Japanese manufacturer Toyota at 95% more. In terms of impressions, the Chrysler brand saw the biggest year-over-year gain, at 3,403%.

Does anything stop this increase in TV ad spending? Not anytime soon.

Cole Strain, vice president of measurement products for Samba TV, says: “As we enter the holiday season, a busy time of year for auto sales, we can expect these brands to continue spending with some fluctuations across CTV amidst the ongoing strikes.”

But if strike-related videos continue on your TV screen, could all this then confuse possible consumer purchase? 

Is everyone okay with that?

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