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Monthly Automotive Spotlight: November / December 2019

Winter is upon us, and ’tis the season for automotive sales events! November-December represents one of the two most traffic-congested auto sales event seasons of the year. What makes winter arguably more challenging than summer for auto advertisers, however, is that the holidays represent the peak of consumer spending in general— and as such, competing advertising clutter outside the auto sector.

For this month’s Automotive Spotlight, we focus on three brands that have so far (November through mid-December) been able to breakthrough the clutter at above-average rates with their holiday/winter sales event television campaigns, per Phoenix Brand Effect.

Be sure to check-in regularly, as each month we will spotlight another area of interest in automotive marketing and communications.

Mercedes has seen the most memorable holiday advertising to date (47% among naturally exposed TV viewers, 36% norm).  Breakthrough would be higher, but only a third of viewers correctly identified the brand.  M-B has been using Santa as a character for years—perhaps not as ownable as a branding device?


For more years than we can remember, Lexus has effectively leveraged their “December To Remember” campaign theme.  As is typically the case, Branding has been strong (56%, compared to the norm of 40%).  The year-over-year red bow, driveway surprise, and theme music undoubtedly aid in strong Branding.

Like Lexus, Subaru has strong Branding (56%) for their “Share The Love Event”, but slightly more memorable advertising has led to a small edge in overall Breakthrough.  Subaru’s winter event advertising is also the most Appealing of all measured auto sales event campaigns.

Source: PMI Brand Effect; A25-64, 2-year new vehicle intenders; minimum 25 measured nationally airing GRP’s, minimum 200 sample

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