BIGresearch: Automakers Starting to Shift Ad Dollars to Digital... Is It Enough?

Analysis Compares Automakers' Advertising Spend to Media that Influences Their Customers

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - April 15, 2008) - Recent reports indicate a shake-up in Detroit with automakers making much needed changes to their traditional marketing models by switching media agencies and reallocating more dollars to digital advertising. This suggests they have started to see the light; however, it may not be enough. According to an analysis of BIGresearch's ( most recent Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM 11, Dec. 07) of 15,727 participants, 17.5% of General Motors customers say TV influences their auto purchases, a sharp contrast to the 40% of GM's $3 Billion+ ad budget that was assigned to TV ads in 2006.

Top automotive advertisers pumped by far the greatest percentage of their media dollars into TV in 06, making it the most unbalanced media when compared to its influence on consumers to purchase. Because such a large portion of ad dollars were allocated to TV in 2006, automakers including GM, Ford and Toyota under spent on other forms of media such as newspaper, magazines, radio and the Internet. With their primary focus on TV, Ford spent only 5.89% of their budget on newspaper advertising which influences 16.5% of their customers. These discrepancies in spend and influence can create a negative impact on marketing ROI, especially in an uncertain economy.

              Automotive Ad Spend vs. Influence to Purchase

Advertiser  Magazines  Newspaper  Outdoor    TV    Radio   Internet
---------  ----------  ---------  -------  ------- ------- -------
General      12.19%/     6.66%/    1.24%/  40.29%/  3.04%/  3.59%/
Motors        16.9%      17.0%     10.2%   17.5%    6.4%     8.7%

Ford         13.08%/     5.89%/    0.82%/  40.85%/  1.52%/  3.85%/
              17.0%      16.5%     11.9%    18.0%    6.7%    8.4%

Toyota       12.95%/     2.58%/    1.09%/  39.47%/  1.40%/  2.79%/
              19.0%      15.8%     10.5%    16.8%    5.3%    8.6%

*Source: BIGresearch SIMM 11 and analysis of Ad Age Domestic Ad Spending
         by Category (2006)
**       % of Total US Ad Spend/Media influence on brand owners to purchase
         a vehicle

"Automakers are making advances in a consumer-centric media world by integrating new media into their advertising strategy," said Gary Drenik, President of BIGresearch. "However, when you look at which media their customers say influences them to purchase a car, they are over allocating ad dollars on TV and under spending on Internet, outdoor, radio and print."

For complete list and charts of the top automotive advertisers versus what their customers say influences them to purchase, please click here:

About BIGresearch

BIGresearch is a consumer intelligence firm providing analysis of behavior in areas of products and services, retail, financial services, automotive, and media. BIGresearch's syndicated Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM) is focused on consumers to gauge their consumption across media, products and services. Marketers can use SIMM to develop the types of consumer-centric marketing plans required to increase advertisers' ROI. The SIMM monitors more than 15,000 consumers twice each year. BIGresearch also conducts the Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey (CIA) of more than 7,500 consumers monthly.

BIGresearch's methodology provides the most accurate consumer information in the industry with a margin of error of +/- 1 percent.

Contact Information: Contact: Chrissy Wissinger BIGresearch 450 West Wilson Bridge Road Suite 370 Worthington, Ohio 43085 (614) 846-0146