Online Television Content Effective in Targeting New-Vehicle Buyers

July 3, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Automotive | Media & Entertainment | Television | Youth & Gen X

Online television show content is emerging as an increasingly effective way of reaching new-vehicle buyers, 68% of whom report going online to find information on TV shows, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Power Auto Online Media Study – Summer.

Moreover, the reach of online television show content among new-vehicle buyers has increased 22% from 2007, the study finds.

The semi-annual study, in its third year, studies the internet usage and behavior of new-vehicle buyers and identifies websites that most effectively target desirable advertising audiences.

TV show content is among the top three types of online information consumed by new-vehicle buyers, along with travel-related information (including maps, driving directions and weather reports) and news (including finance and business-related content), J.D. Power found.

Among the key findings:

  • New-vehicle buyers most frequently visit the following websites when searching for television content: (with 30% reach among new-vehicle buyers); MSNBC (24%); ESPN (23%); and (21%).
  • Among television network websites, ABC is visited most frequently by online users (with 16% reach among new-vehicle buyers), followed closely by CBS and NBC (each with 13%).
  • Some 81% of Generation Y new-vehicle buyers visit websites regarding TV shows, but so do older demographics: 80% of Generation X buyers and 73% of Baby Boomer buyers.
  • Buyers of premium-brand vehicles tend to seek online TV show content with the greatest frequency and are 8% more likely to look up information about TV shows online, compared with the average new-vehicle buyer.
  • Regarding specific segments: 79% of midsize premium utility vehicle buyers, 76% of compact premium crossover utility vehicles (CUV) buyers, and 75% of midsize premium CUV buyers typically view online TV-show information.
  • The biggest increase in consumption of online TV content is among buyers of midsize premium conventional vehicles, a rise of 41% from 2007.

“Premium-brand vehicle buyers tend to be frequent users of digital video recorders (DVR), and of the 49% of buyers who have DVRs, the vast majority of them – 97% – tend to skip commercials when they watch recorded TV programming,” said Arianne Walker, director of marketing and media research at J.D. Power and Associates.

“Fortunately for advertisers, their propensity to view television content online provides an ideal alternative way to expose advertising messages to this audience.”

J.D. Power and Associates forecasts that fewer than 15 million new vehicles will be sold in 2008, compared with 16.1 million sold in 2007.

“As new-vehicle sales shrink, understanding which advertising mediums will provide the best balance of audience reach and composition is absolutely critical,” said Walker.

About the study: The Power Auto Online Media Study is based on a random national sample of 12,809 verified new -vehicle buyers who purchased a vehicle between August and October 2007. The study was fielded between February and April 2008.


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