AutoTrader.com is one of the largest third-party automotive sites with more than 16 million consumers visiting each month to find their perfect car. Millward Brown Digital worked with AutoTrader to look at the Super Bowl auto ad experience. We surveyed over a thousand AutoTrader visitors who watched the Super Bowl to find out what auto brands made the biggest impact during the big game.
Of all the auto brands that had ads Ford, Chevrolet and Maserati had the highest recall with 29%, 26% and 21% of respondents remembering their ads respectively. While only 11% of respondents remembered seeing Toyota’s ad, it had the biggest impact, with 44% of those respondents saying that it made them more likely to consider a Toyota. And even though Maserati had one of the highest ad recall percentages, only 15% said that it would increase their likelihood to consider the brand, the lowest amount of any other commercial. While the ad was definitely memorable, starring Oscar-nominated Quvenzhané Wallis, and likely helped to build brand awareness, it didn’t do much in convincing people to consider the brand.
Reactions varied across different audiences. Of the three hundred and ninety-four 18-34-year-olds surveyed, 50% recalled seeing the Audi ad and 46% remembered the Honda ad. Given Honda’s recent focus on a younger demographic (with the campaign #LoveToday), this is great news for them. Both Chrysler (31%) and Hyundai (31%) were recalled most amongst the two hundred and thirty-six 35-44-year-olds surveyed. The Hyundai ad focused on fathers’ protective natures and resonated with the targeted age group. Furthermore, seventy percent of those that responded were men, and for them it seems that Chrysler and Maserati were the most memorable with recall rates of 82% and 80% respectively. However, women remembered the Toyota ad (starring the Muppets) most, with a recall rate of 46%.
But how did the ads impact the audience? To begin with, 69% of respondents used some sort of connected device during the game, with 57% using a tablet or a mobile device. Viewers are no longer a captivated audience. Technological distractions as well as friends and family make it increasingly difficult for ads to stand out.
Of those that recalled the Toyota and Honda ads, 29% and 28% respectively said that those ads impacted their visit to AutoTrader.com, the highest percentages of all the car commercials. That means almost 1 in 3 people who remembered those ads felt that it impacted an action that they took. While there might have been more people who took actions based on those commercials, at approximately 4 million dollars for a 30 second spot, is it worth it?