Auto Manufacturers Continue to Advertise SUVs Online

comScore, Inc. , a leader in measuring the digital world, has released the results of a study of online automotive advertising, based on data from the comScore Ad Metrix service, including the debut release of data from comScore’s new product-level dictionary.

The study revealed that Ford Motor Company was the top auto advertiser in January with 481 million display ad impressions, followed by Toyota with 384 million and General Motors with 316 million. The top ten auto manufacturers accounted for 58 percent of the 1.9 billion ad impressions in the segment, with the “Big Three” U.S. automakers (Ford, GM and Chrysler) accounting for 26 percent.

Automotive advertisers delivered nearly 2 billion ad impressions and reached 120 million people, or 65 percent of the total Internet audience, in January 2009. This represents a decline of 43 percent in online ad impressions for the auto industry versus January 2008.

GMC Yukon the Most Advertised SUV Online, Chevy Malibu Tops among “Green” Models

As part of the study, comScore identified the most advertised SUV and Fuel Efficient/Hybrid vehicles using the new comScore Ad Metrix product dictionary, which allows an identification of online advertisements at the product level. Interestingly, the auto companies delivered six times more display ads for SUVs (65.0 million) than Fuel-Efficient/Hybrid models (9.9 million) in January 2009. The most advertised SUV model online was the GMC Yukon, with 22 million ad impressions, followed by the KIA Borrego (10.3 million) and Toyota Sequoia (8.5 million).

Meanwhile, the top “green” model advertised online was the Chevy Malibu, which received 1.4 million ad impressions promoting its fuel-efficiency or hybrid model, followed by the Lexus LS Hybrid (1.2 million) and Lexus RX Hybrid (1.0 million).

“The collective online advertising strategy of automakers shows a low level of online advertising for their green models and higher levels for their heavier gas consumption vehicles,” said Jeff Hackett, comScore senior vice president. “While SUVs may still drive a larger share of sales for the automakers, comScore research has shown that online is an effective brand-building medium and now might be a good time to begin shifting allocation of dollars and mindshare towards the models of the future.”

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