Four Reasons For Advertising Agencies To Want A Car Account

… And One To Help Go Get That Car

As an addendum to my Advertising Week Social Club “Dreaming of a Car Account?” interview with Nielsen’s Ian Beavis, I offer some more thoughts on why you should go after a car account.

Big Bucks

Not that you didn’t know this but these guys spend big bucks. According to Kantar Media, in 2013’s first quarter alone, automotive manufacturers spent $1,971 billion and $1,381 billion respectively on manufacturer and dealer advertising.

According to Ad Age, General Motors spent $3.59 billion on advertising last year while Toyota spent $2.86. For contrast, Hyundai and Kia spent only $776 million and $1.26 billion.

Big Media

Again, no surprise that auto accounts use all types of media, which offers agencies of all stripes the opportunity to customize services for manufacturers and dealers. According to Ads24’s most recent Path to Persuasion (P2P) Wave 4: Automotive (passenger cars), “Usually, the most effective media mixes include media formats that play differentiated roles across the Path to Persuasion.”

media mix





Big Noise

Just as a reminder… Has anyone not seen Audi’s “Prom”?

Or, Volkswagen’s “The Force” (with 58 million YouTube views)?

Or, Kia’s “Hamster Rap”?

Or… Chrysler and Eminem?

Big Love

Toyota has been with Saatchi & Saatchi (nee Dancer, Fitzgerald, Sample) since 1975. Car accounts are hard to move.

“A car account always has been a rite of passage in the world of agencies,” said Jon Bond, co-chairman of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners. “It’s like being a made man in the Mafia, but … today, you can get whacked the next week.”

Big Need

Two of the more interesting questions and answers from my interview with Ian Beavis, EVP Automotive at Nielsen and ex auto CMO point to the fact that agencies can find a wedge service into auto accounts. Go for it boys.

Levitan: A final question. Agencies have a hard time creating a competitive agency brand positioning. Any insights and advice you can give to the agency world on how to be distinctive in this highly competitive category?

Beavis: You rarely hear of an agency being a business solution provider, as it just doesn’t sound cool or creative. A good agency solves a client’s business issues and is a partner. Very few qualify and even fewer truly embrace this challenge.

Levitan: What are the current digital hot buttons at car companies?

Beavis: Quality lead generation and follow up. It is the top priority with all OEMs

So, be smart, be distinctive, be a problem solver… get going.




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