December 14, 2017
Why the Auto Industry is Taken with 6-Second Ads
By Connor McCourt

One of the Clearest Trends in Video and TV Advertising in 2017 has been a shift towards ads that run just six seconds.

So far, Old Spice, Snickers and Under Armour have rolled out ads of that length. In 2018, we can expect to see a lot more six-second ads for all categories. 

 

What About Car Companies?

By and large, marketers in this category have been slow to embrace the format, though Mercedes-Benz is one notable exception, with an ad that shows how fast 3.8 seconds (the time it takes for the AMG GT S to hit 60 mph) goes. There are a number of factors that make the six-second format a good choice for automakers though. 

 

Here are six reasons why automotive advertisers should consider going short:

 

  1. Purchase Funnels Do Not Apply to Car Buying Anymore. 
    The purchase funnel, as any marketer knows, is a sequence of steps that a consumer passes through before making a purchase. Though exact definitions vary, one goes from awareness to familiarity to consideration to purchase to loyalty in the funnel. But top auto marketers have known for some time that the purchase funnel no longer applies. Rather than narrowing down their list of vehicle choices, buyers — particularly younger ones — now “add and subtract vehicle choices throughout the process, even up until the last minute before purchase,” according to Automotive News. That means a reminder ad late in the process just might work.
      
  2. They Make a Brand Top of Mind 
    Further analyzing the new buying process, a consumer is open to options right until the moment of purchase. Six-second ads can achieve this, particularly if they are well targeted at a consumer who is clearly in the market. 
      
  3. Car Dealers are Catching On 
    While many automakers remain hesitant about the format, dealers are trying :06s out. One convert is Ed Morse Automotive Group in Delray Beach, Fla., which recently ran mini spots about a college football giveaway and Hurricane Irma disaster relief. 
       
  4. The Format Isn’t Really New 
    Automakers and dealers use such so-called bumper ads all the time -- in print. As Peter Leto, Google’s head of industry, automotive retail sales, told Automotive News recently, “If you’re running print advertising today, you have a bumper ad. A print ad is essentially the same as a six-second ad.” This is literally the case with a marketer in another category, Clinique. Working with Google, the beauty brand recently rolled out six-second ads that actually are reconstituted print ads. 
      
  5. They are a Good Vehicle to Spur More Research 
    Six seconds is a tease. If you see a quick ad featuring a car that you’re interested in, then you’re likely to start researching it. That’s an easy jump since 70% of U.S. adults have a second screen open while they’re watching TV, according to eMarketer. 
      
  6. Location-Based Targeting Aids Effectiveness 
    Picture this: A consumer enters a Ford dealership, looks around a bit and then sees a bumper ad on her phone alerting her that there’s a sale on Chevys going on at the dealer down the street. This type of targeting, which takes into account the consumer’s location, is possible and can double performance of all kinds of marketing methods, from email campaigns to paid search. 

 

Short-format advertising acknowledges that video is a powerful tool, but that on mobile especially, 30 seconds can seem like an eternity. 
Bumper ads solve this problem. At first blush, such ads might not seem like a fit for a considered purchase like an automobile, but if you look at both the ways that people buy cars in 2017 and the way they consume media, then all roads lead to six-second ads. 

Edited from article written by Connor McCourt, Industry Manager, GlassView

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