Automotive TV Spending Drops 12.9% In January

Automakers spent an estimated $331.5 million on national television spending in January, down 12.9% from the $380.8 million spent a year ago. 

Household TV ad impressions also declined 6.6% year-over-year to 22.3 billion, compared to 23.9 billion, according to

The top five brands by estimated national TV spending in January were: Chevrolet ($42.6 million), Hyundai ($38 million), Jeep ($30.3 million), Honda ($26.9 million) and Ram Trucks ($22.9 million).

The most-seen automaker ads by share of household TV ad impressions, January 2024 were  Hyundai: Stretch (3.38%), Chevrolet: Drive You Home (3.32%), Mercedes-Benz: Defining Class Since 1886 (2.62%), Jeep: 4xAdventure (2.62%) and Ram Trucks: Everything (2.61%), according to



Automakers opened their wallets for NFL action, spending 17 times more on games (regular season and playoff) in January 2024 than any other programming. 

But NFL spend was actually down about 15% year-over-year, and only one of the top five brands by overall spend increased investment in the NFL compared to January 2023: Jeep, which more than doubled its NFL outlay year-over-year. 

Decreases aside, the NFL was still a juggernaut for the top-spending auto brands, says Stuart Schwartzapfel, executive vice president, media partnerships, at

Over 90% of Chevrolet’s total outlay for the month went towards airings in games, and the NFL accounted for 83% of Hyundai’s spend and 70% of Honda’s for January 2024. 

“Football was the name of the game in January, with automakers tapping into excitement around both the College Football Playoff and NFL postseason to get messaging in front of as many potential car buyers as possible,” Schwartzapfel tells Marketing Daily. “As football comes to a close with February’s Super Bowl, we’ll see attention shift focus to basketball as the primary way to reach significant TV audiences.”

The top five brands by share of automaker household TV ad impressions in January were Toyota (9.66%), Lexus (9.42%), Hyundai (9.03%), Chevrolet (6.76%) and Honda (6.65%), according to

The biggest estimated spend increases among top 15 brands by spend, January 2024 (vs. January 2023) were:  Jeep (+110%), Nissan (+34.6%), Kia (+23.1%), Subaru (+18.9%) and Ford (+14.8%).

Among the top 15 brands by January 2024 spend, these were the only five that actually increased outlay year-over-year.

Jeep’s growth was fueled primarily by a doubling down on NFL action but the automaker also slightly increased spend for "The NFL Today" and the Golden Globes. 

Nissan upped its investment in the College Football Playoff National Championship game by 2x compared to January 2023, and more than doubled outlay during "SportsCenter" year-over-year. 

Kia upped its spend during NFL games by 172% and increased NBA outlay by 34%. The brand also aired ads during the 81st Annual Golden Globes, something it did not do during the 2023 awards show. 

Subaru, the only one of these five brands that did not focus on sports-related programming, spent the most on the Golden Globes (it did not advertise during the January 2023 edition of the awards show). Meanwhile, spend increases against the NFL, NBA and men’s college basketball contributed to Ford’s year-over-year growth.

The top programs for automakers by share of household TV ad impressions, January 2024 were NFL (25.94%), NBA (3.54%), Men’s college basketball (2.75%), CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl (1.40%) and "SportsCenter" (1.26%), according to

During a month that included both the end of the regular season and the playoffs, NFL dominated automaker TV ad impressions in January, accounting for a quarter of the industry’s impressions across all programming and representing a modest 6.8% year-over-year increase. NBA impressions increased by 33% compared to January 2023.

Outside of sports-related programming, shows with some of the biggest year-over-year TV ad impressions increases for automakers included the Golden Globe Awards (+416% vs. January 2023), "House Hunters " (+181%), "Today" (+71%) and "Friends" (+67%), according to

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