MediaPost Names Best In Auto Marketing For 2023

For a ninth year, MediaPost is naming its picks for top automotive marketers and agencies. 

There was a large array of choices, and a panel of industry observers, experts and marketers had the arduous task of finding the best of the bunch. The winners will be honored at the Marketing: Automotive conference during the New York International Auto Show on March 27 at the Javits Center in New York. 

The jury that selected the award winners included veteran jurors Tanya Gazdik, editor, Marketing: Automotive, MediaPost; Ian Beavis, chief strategy officer, AMCI Global; and Scotty Reiss, founder, A Girl's Guide To Cars.

Other jurors were Elgie Bright, automotive marketing and management department chair, Northwood University; Noah Mallin, chief of brand strategy, IMGN Media; Luis Miguel Messianu, founder-president-chief creative officer, MEL; and Omar Rana, automotive content creator at OmarDrives.

The Automotive Agency of the Year award goes to Carmichael Lynch. As the lead agency for Subaru of America since 2007, its work is a model of consistency and connection with what is important to its audience — not just features they might like, but the life that they love, including their families, pets and the great outdoors. Since introducing the “Love” campaign in 2007, sales and market share for Subaru have more than tripled.

The Best Integrated Campaign award goes to Kia America for its “Binky Dad” campaign for the Kia Telluride from David+Goliath. The campaign revolved around one forgetful dad who embarked on an unforgettable journey in his Telluride X-Pro to retrieve his child’s missing Binky. After the commercial aired on the Super Bowl, for the first time ever, the agency ended the spot on TikTok with three different alternate endings. A TikTok filter put fans inside the Telluride X-Pro during the epic jump, generating nearly 7,000 videos. Overall, the campaign content on TikTok garnered 39.5 million impressions, 95.1K engagement, and drove 73.16% positive sentiment. 

The campaign was created under the leadership of Russell Wager, Kia America’s vice president of marketing, who was recently named MediaPost's automotive marketer of the year. 

Best Electric Vehicle Campaign goes to Nissan for its Ariya “Lofi Girl” effort from TBWA\Chiat\Day NY. The brand tapped into the popularity of Lofi videos on YouTube by creating a four-hour-long ad, replacing EV “range anxiety” with calm serenity – just like the Ariya’s timeless Japanese futuristic design, EV quiet drive, and 300 mile range. The result: 395 million impressions and growing,  2 million + hours of listening time on the Nissan Lofi content and +7.6% lift in awareness and a 1082% search lift for “Nissan Ariya.” 

For Best Social Campaign, Lincoln wins for a creative effort featuring an organic post from brand spokesperson Matthew McConaughey’s Road Trip. Lincoln AOR Hudson Rouge gathered footage from previous Lincoln commercials, added music to McConaughey’s already-trending audio, and made a new piece of social content available for users on TikTok and Meta platforms to add to their own footage, continuing the social trend. Implementing this facet of social media increased awareness of the Lincoln brand and took advantage of a cultural moment, resulting in 400k impressions/engagements/likes and 2.3k comments.

Best Multicultural or Interest Group Campaign goes to Hyundai for its “Cautionary Tales” campaign from Lopez Negrete Communications, which targeted the Hispanic audience, who have been hesitant to embrace electric vehicles. To help them realize their misconceptions were baseless, the agency drew on the very relatable topic of cautionary tales, which were contrasted with indisputable facts about Hyundai EVs. The campaign was developed in English and Spanish for broadcast, radio, digital and social, and is an example of how leading with culture, being consumer-first, and matching your brand naturally with consumers’ lives creates work that is not only effective but game-changing.

Best Interactive Execution goes to Lucid Motors, which completely redesigned its website. Code and Theory was charged with leading strategy, design and engineering implementation for its website. The newly launched experience transforms into a digital showroom. The new experience is driven by aesthetic elevation and streamlined purchase funnel that promotes exploration of Lucid’s vehicles and brand alike. Since launch, Lucid’s website has demonstrated tangible impact for the business and brand with +18% engagement rate, +1:24 session duration, +7,246% sign-ups and a #4 SEO ranking (up from 8).

Finally, Best Campaign Activation for a Dealer Group goes to Koeppel Auto Group for its “Koeppel Kares” social responsibility effort. The initiative consolidates all philanthropic endeavors under one cohesive brand. By focusing on making a meaningful impact in the local community, Koeppel Auto Group has set a new benchmark for dealership-led philanthropy. Through this campaign, the group has demonstrated a genuine dedication to giving back and improving the lives of those they serve.

Congratulations to all the winners.

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