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Auto Industry – Trend Report Highlights

Auto Industry – Trend Report Highlights


The global automotive industry is under intense pressure. 

Trade concerns, environmental regulations, and innovative technology are all challenging the automotive industry as we know it. 

These pressures are forcing automakers to adjust their advertising strategies.  

Over the last year, we have been keeping tabs on how auto companies have been changing their approaches to advertising. Now, we have put together the latest research in a new trend report. 

Here, we share a preview of what our Auto Industry Trend Report has to offer. 

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Trend Report Highlights

We found that automotive advertising spending was down between 2017 and 2019, especially among the largest auto groups.

Our research shows that:

  • Auto brands spent $1.2B less on advertising in 2019 compared to two years prior (2017).
  • In terms of pure dollars, the automotive industry has pulled more money out of advertising in the past two years than any other industry in the US. 

While most of the top performing industries in the US maintained or increased spending on advertising since 2017, the auto industry was 1 of just 3 industries to decrease their ad spend. This shift can be an indicator of just how much pressure this industry is facing. 

What can publishers expect from auto advertisers in upcoming years?

Though spend is down, allocation strategy has remained static. TV makes up the bulk of vehicle advertisements (82%). 

Though, we will likely see a shift in which networks auto advertisers place their ads. 

Premium ad spots, like broadcasters showing NFL games, will be impacted. In 2015, automotive brands made up 23% of NFL ads, but in 2019, they made up 19%. 

Only 2 of the top 10 auto groups advertising during NFL games in 2015 increased their spend in 2019. Considering the NFL dominates US TV viewing, it is noteworthy that auto groups are not pouring their resources into these ad placements as much as previous years. 

It will be interesting to see if automakers continue on this downward spending trend, diversifying  their placements with less valuable spots.

Other strategies to keep your eyes on will be programmatic spend. So far, programmatic spending has remained steady, but many car makers are expecting big changes within the next three years

Interested in learning more? We have more details in our Automotive Industry Trend Report

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