If it isn’t viral it won’t work. Everyone is doing it viral, why shouldn’t we? These might be typical questions for an interactive marketer working for a carmaker. A couple of days ago we talked about Toyota Scion, everybody remembers all the buzz generated by the evil advertisement of a cat loosing his head in a Ford SportKa. Playing with the words we can really say the buzz in the automotive industry is all around viral marketing, as an article on Autoweek points out. The problem is that the statement I did at the beginning of this post, could also work the other way around. I mean, there might be an inflation: when there are too many buzz’ to listen to, some of them (or most of them) won’t be heard.
The Detroit News dedicates an excellent article by Nick Bunkley to carmakers and their investments in online advertising. According to a report by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, in 2003, the world�s 15 largest automakers spent $160.3 million on Internet advertising, a 70 percent increase over just two years earlier. The news isn’t good as in apparently sounds, since, despite that growth, automakers still spent only 1 percent of their total advertising budgets on the Internet, far less than companies in many other industries. However the Internet is seen as very helpful for targeting specific groups like gay people. DaimlerChrysler invested nearly 1 million $ on Gay.com, while General Motors spent on the same web site about 624,000 $. On the contrary Ford spent only $1,000 and did not advertise on any other gay-oriented sites. Who did the right thing? Unfortunately the article provides no answer.
Online advertising has become a serious stuff for auto-makers. They are heavily investing in the media, and apparently getting good results back. On iMediaConnection Jim Meskauskas presents an excellent state of the art analysis of past, present and future of auto-makers online advertising.
A nwe study by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young has found out that TV advertising has a low impact on consumers’ car buying decisions. As AdAge reports, Mike Wujciak, a vice president at Cap Gemini, suggests automakers to rather use online ads, which are faster to create and to analyze for results. However I tend to agree with Mike Palmgren, account director at Publicis who said that TV promotion is used for awareness.“If you’re not aware of a product, how would you know where to research it on the Web?”
Elemental, My Dear Watson…
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