Do Car Commercials on TV Sell Any Cars?

Am I the only one asking this question? Better yet, why do companies continue to throw money away on TV advertising?

After all, there’s commercial after commercial on TV touting the latest offer – the newest features – or the sportiness. They drone on and one endlessly, until they all blend together. Undoubtedly, car companies are cash cows for TV advertising salespeople.

But do they have any effect on buyers? Or are millions of dollars being wasted?

To answer that question, we should first look at how do people shop for cars today. I don’t have data, but I certainly know how I do it.

Here’s the process I use to shop for a car:

  1. Check the findings at Consumer Reports. Look at reliability.
  2. Read articles at Car and Driver (online)
  3. See what MotorTrend is saying (online)
  4. Ask questions on Twitter, Linkedin, etc. and ask friends in person.
  5. Research pricing online
  6. Go buy a car

Notice what I don’t do – pay attention to TV ads.

IMHO, millions of dollars are being wasted.

What do you think? Have you learned to tune out car ads too?

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by changing the way they attract and earn trust with prospective customers. He’s planning to buy a car soon too.

To learn about Jeff, please click Who is the Fearless Competitor?

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

2 thoughts on “Do Car Commercials on TV Sell Any Cars?

  1. Yes, they are still the primary method – although I am quite sure that will change

    Many of us have heard about the electric cars the Volt and the Leaf – An Automotive News study found that only low double digit percentages of consumers could actually say who builds these cars (Chevrolet & Nissan respectively)

    The Chrysler Superbowl advertisement drove interest in Chrysler 100’s of % higher

    We cannot forget as well that in most urban centers, “technical literacy” can be quite high – but many cars and trucks are not sold in New York / LA etc – but “small town” with TV still using rabbit ears –

    Usually you see two types of automobile advertising – national brand awareness advertising performed by the car company – for example Ford or Chevrolet, or BMW with more ‘general’ information (eg outlining the new 2012 models)

    Second, is the smaller regional advertising that is a local car dealership telling you he or she has a sale on a particular model and that the service shop is open until 6 PM this Saturday

    Newer media methods are definitely making inroads – but for the next few years at least – the TV ad still sells cars


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