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Programmatic Buying in the Auto Industry

Programmatic Buying in the Auto Industry

The auto industry is grabbing plenty of headlines as it navigates major industry changes. 

The mash-up of decreased consumer demand, tightened energy regulations and a race in innovation has led to a fierce competition in the auto industry. Tighter numbers have impacted automotive brands in many aspects, not least in their marketing budgets.

Auto TV ad spending is down, while B2B publishers face an even bigger hit

But how does programmatic buying compare? 

Automotive programmatic advertising in 2019 remains steady

The number of automotive brands buying programmatic ads has been flat YoY. In 2019, there were 2,372 brands buying in programmatic ads, compared to 2,381 in 2018.

SUV brands made up the largest type of car category to spend on programmatic ads, accounting for 26% of programmatic spend. Pickup trucks made up 12% of programmatic ad spend, followed by sedans at 10%.

Motorcycle makers are warming up to programmatic advertising more than previous years. Motorcycle brands were the quickest rising car type to spend on programmatic advertising. 

In 2018, motorcycles accounted for only 0.7% of auto programmatic spend. In 2019, that percentage increased to 2.6%. Though the percentage remains small, the growth is steep: a nearly 4x increase in a matter of a year. 

The top programmatic motorcycle advertiser in 2019 was Yamaha. 

The top 5 programmatic advertisers in auto in 2019

The top spenders in programmatic advertising among auto automakers last year were:

  1. General Motors
  2. Exor (Ram/Jeep)
  3. Toyota
  4. Ford
  5. Honda