VAB Says TV Ads Fuel Automaker Web Traffic

Television advertising steers consumers to automaker’s websites, according to a new study from the Video Advertising Bureau.

The VAB study looked at the top 25 spending car companies, which bought $4.1 billion of TV ads in the fourth quarter of 2017 and found that 11 brands that increased TV spending also saw an increased number of unique visitors to their websites.

For eight brands that cut spending, web traffic dropped. There was no correlation for six brands.

On average, the 11 companies that spent more increased TV buys by 15% and got 48% more unique visitors on line. The eight companies that cut spending reduced their TV by 15% and web traffic fell 28%.

In some specific cases:

· Ford increased spending 78% to $110 million in the fourth quarter and saw a 33% increase in unique visitors.

· Chevrolet increased spending 6% to $120.7 million and saw a 50% increase in traffic.

· Cadillac dropped its TV spending by 11% to $23.2 million and saw a 28% decrease in unique visitors to its website.

· Chrysler cut spending 50% to $19.6 million and web traffic was down 39%.

· Toyota raised spending 10% to $83 million and uniques rose 43%. 

· Infiniti cut spending 11% to $24.2 million and traffic fell 10%.

Brands that increased their TV investment also saw significant lifts in search queries, social actions and online views, the VAB found.

“Throughout the analysis, which focuses on a year-over-year comparison of the crucial 4Q time period, we provide numerous examples of how TV spend, both increases and decreases, has an effect on the desire of a consumer to further engage with a brand through online investigation, conversation and exploration," the VAB report said.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.