OEMs + TV: More Than Just Awareness
30 October 2019 • tvsquared
Meg Coyle
MarCom Director

Back in August, TVSquared released its report, “Taking Back the Wheel: TV Performance Insights for Automotive Brands.” Examining nearly 200 brands across the auto category, we identified the highest and lowest performing TV buy elements for 2019 – things like days, dayparts, genres and creative lengths.

As we know, the auto industry is complex and different tiers have different goals and expectations for TV campaigns. That’s why we’ll be doing deeper dives into the three tiers to examine how they use TV for performance and share case studies that illustrate the real-world impact.

Today, we start at the top – Tier 1s, aka OEMs.

TV Drives Full-Funnel Actions

When it comes to TV, OEMs are all about focusing ad spend at the national level. While it’s common for OEMs to take a multi-channel approach that involves both digital and TV, the latter has traditionally been used for reach and brand awareness.

Granted, many Tier 1s still use TV only for reach and brand awareness, but this is changing. We’re seeing more OEMs use TV (and the real-time performance analytics that come with it) to explore how buy elements, especially creatives and programs, drive people down the funnel. They are looking at what aspects drew specific actions – whether it’s search, site traffic, app activity, you name it – and then use that information to optimize future buys.

To stay competitive, OEMs need to accurately and quickly see how their investments lead to ROI. Instead of relying on last-click attribution, with the majority of “credit” going to Google, they want to understand the role each channel plays. (Remember: search is always prompted by something!) OEMs are recognizing that middle-of-the-funnel actions, like driving viewers to “find a dealership” or “customize your car” pages, are excellent indicators of TV’s contribution … and it deserves credit!

OEM Makes TV Effective and Efficient

Candidly, this is one of my favorite case studies – it’s about a luxury auto manufacturer and its new model launch. Like its peers, the OEM always used TV for reach/awareness, but for one launch, it wanted to use TV to promote website traffic, specifically, you guessed it, driving viewers to its “find local dealers” page.

Through its global agency, the OEM leveraged TVSquared’s ADvantage platform to understand how TV led to response during previous campaigns. It then used those insights to inform the TV buys for the new model debut. Not only did it increase TV-driven website traffic by 109%, but because it was making smarter buys, it also reduced cost-per-response by 24% to sub $100. You can click through the entire case study below.

Auto brands (or any brand, for that matter), don’t have to sacrifice TV’s reach for performance, or vice versa. The two work quite well together! Next time, we’ll take a look at how Tier 2s are using TV for sales effectiveness and financial performance.