Key Advertising Themes of 2013


Advertising and marketing is what drives a significant portion of brand popularity and sales in the automotive industry.

And automakers are getting more and more creative. As 2014 approaches, Auto Remarketing talked with experts from Phoenix Automotive to pick out some of the overarching marketing themes this year and which ones really hit home.

Top-of-mind for many automakers this year was “relatability” — a theme that “came to the forefront of automotive advertising” in 2013, said Brian Maraone, vice president at Phoenix Automotive.

Maraone pointed out that focusing on relatability allows automakers “to better reach their audience, whatever theme or topic the ad might be presenting.

"It’s something they can envision themselves in or is important to their lives, safety for example, it really makes the viewer perk up and engage in what the ad is trying to say. Relatability is very key,” Maraone continued.

Brands that have excelled in this area in 2013 include Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti,  said Kevin Severance, Phoenix senior research analyst.

The most high performing ads for these automakers included the themes of safety and children, two topics with strong emotional ties.

“Those two brands have had some really high performing ads that really hit home. Related to safety features on some of their newer models,” Severance said. “And the reason the ads have performed so well is because they offer a real-life demonstration of how these features (anti-collision systems) work. Luxury consumers responded quite favorably to these ads.”

Besides the themes of children and safety, apparently performance has been a big player in ads, as well.

Maraone pointed out that Audi has capitalized on this theme recently, with an advertisement for the all-wheel drive Quattro that features the vehicle evading a tow truck as it tries to “capture” the vehicle.

“Another theme that we have seen is performance. Audi has a lot of those Quattro , all-wheel drive, where they depict the toe truck driver who keeps trying to capture the car and it keeps getting away — because the Audi Quattro has such good performance in the snow, it doesn’t need the tow truck driver,” Maroane explained.

Severance added that this is the perfect picture of a performance-based ad. Why?

Not only does it focus on performance, but it also touches on safety, as well.

“When you see a car driving through the snow so adeltly, it speaks to performance and safety. Not only are you going to get through the snow, but you are going to do it without getting stuck, or having an accident,” Severance shared.

Sarah Rubenoff can be reached at Continue the conversation with Auto Remarketing on both LinkedIn and Twitter.


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