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Automotive advertising during the holidays: Cut through the clutter

This week’s guest blog post is contributed by Arianne Walker, Brand Strategy, Automotive, Oracle Data Cloud.

As a thought leader and market voice, Arianne helps automotive marketers discover and implement the best possible audience strategies.

We all know that brands have to fight harder and smarter to win share as the market flattens – and the holiday season is no exception.

In fact, the increase in advertising spend typically seen during the holiday season means that consumers have even more clutter to sift through, making it difficult to capture share of mind.  

But with the right targeting during the holiday season, there is an opportunity to ensure your message gets to the right people in time for that holiday push. Let’s discuss how automotive marketers can capture holiday spend to make seasonal campaigns even more successful.

Let’s start by stating this: Vehicle buyers during the holidays ARE different in that they BUY different, so you could miss the mark if you don’t adapt your digital advertising strategy to reflect this.

Luxury Brands Grow Share During the Holidays

Sales share increases during the holiday season are largely enjoyed by luxury vehicle segments, including full size, mid-size, and compact luxury. Those increasing share by 20 percent or more can be seen in the table below: 

Vehicle Segment

Share of Sales Increase 

LUXURY PRESTIGE FULL SIZE

53%

LUXURY TRADITIONAL FULL SIZE

49%

LUXURY FULL SIZE SUV

46%

LUXURY MID SIZE SUV

44%

LUXURY MID SIZE CUV

34%

LUXURY COMPACT CUV

23%

More specifically, high-end lifestyle brands like Tesla and Land Rover see their share of vehicle sales increase over 50 percent in the holiday season compared to the previous quarter. And additional luxury brands, including Volvo, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar, also see increases in share over 20 percent during the holiday season. 

Brand

Share of Sales Increase

TESLA

78%

LAND ROVER

57%

VOLVO

43%

BMW

39%

INFINITI

30%

LEXUS

28%

MERCEDES-BENZ

21%

JAGUAR

20%

We’ve found that these end-of-year luxury car buyers are very different from those who buy luxury at other times of the year. Holiday luxury buyers are more likely to live in highly urban areas with home values of $350,000 and up, reflecting some level of impulse buying occurring during the holidays.

Additionally, end-of-year luxury buyers  are more likely to value style and being on the cutting edge of new products and trends. This helps influence the type of messaging that is geared toward these consumers.

It’s not just buyers that are making an impact during the holidays: Leasing also sees an increase, making up a larger proportion of the overall market. The increase in leasing is most prevalent among luxury brands, which experience a 28 percent share increase for leases; non-luxury brands also see a slight increase in lease share with a five percent increase.

The Holiday Opportunity for Non-Luxury Brands

High-end models from non-luxury brands also get a lift during the gift-giving season. For example, non-luxury full-size SUVs see an overall share increase of 20 percent during the holiday season. 

  • The GMC Yukon XL and the GMC Yukon have share increases of almost 50 and 30 percent, respectively 
  • The Chevrolet Suburban also sees 30 percent higher share increase during the holiday season
  • The Chevrolet Tahoe also increases share almost 30 percent

The non-luxury mid-size pickup segment also sees a lift during the holiday season, driven by increases for the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma. 

Key Takeaways for Auto Marketers

Don’t waste budgets and impressions on the wrong audiences – make sure to avoid all of the holiday advertising noise by effectively targeting consumers who are likely to be in-market for high-end vehicles during the holiday season.

Stay up to date with all the latest in data-driven news by following @OracleDataCloud on Twitter and Facebook! Need data-related answers for your next marketing campaign or client partner? Contact The Data Hotline today. (What's The Data Hotline?) 

Analysis sourced from comparison of luxury and overall buying behavior during December 2015 as compared to Q3 2015 utilizing Polk Data. Polk Data is an industry leading source of vehicle-consumer insight and is a registered trademark of IHS Markit.

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