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Audi, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen Rate Highest in Automotive Advertising ‘Best Practices’ With Messages of Efficiency and Innovation

DETROIT, MI — Phoenix Marketing International, a Honomichl Top-50 market research firm, has reported findings that reveal “best practices” in automotive advertising for all of 2011 across multiple vehicle segments and ad media types. The analysis was conducted using quantitative and qualitative data collected from over 148,000 evaluations of 750+ unique TV and Print ads.

The Phoenix monthly syndicated ad audit asks respondents to rate advertising spots on a variety of in-market and creative metrics. This “best practices” report determines which metrics and messaging elements resonate most effectively with their targets: luxury car and non-luxury car owners and purchase intenders. According to Phoenix’s findings, Innovation and Efficiency messaging prevails in many successful ads across the industry, and ads that are clear, believable, and informative perform well regardless of their audience. What then is the difference between a successful non-luxury car ad and a successful luxury car ad?

Phoenix analysts conclude that non-luxury respondents favor engaging ads that are humorous, clever, entertaining, and unique, while luxury respondents are more responsive to ads that have a serious tone, portray a brand they want to be associated with, and show an attractive vehicle. Non-luxury brands whose ads fared well with consumers in 2011 are Chevrolet and Volkswagen. Some of their top-performing spots included humorous scenarios with clear demonstrations of vehicle capabilities. The report also notes that while Efficiency messaging is effective in both the non-luxury and luxury segments, luxury ads with messaging on Fuel Economy often succeed when combined with messaging on Performance.

The “best practices” report also determines which messaging elements appeal most to non-luxury car owners and purchase intenders of different age groups (those under 40 and those 40 plus). Phoenix data shows that ads depicting alternative fuel vehicles and conveying the paradigm shift toward these vehicles tend to resonate more so with younger non-luxury car owners and purchase intenders. Conversely, ads with safety and quality messaging are more effective among those 40 or older. Additionally, the Phoenix report discusses the elements of a successful luxury car print ad. The top performer in this category is Audi, whose series of one-page ads successfully convey a blend of style and “intelligent engineering” in order to announce the launch of the redesigned A6 model.

The Automotive Practice of Phoenix Marketing International will be discussing this report in detail in a free webinar on May 23 at 11am ET. For information or to register please go to:

Phoenix measures advertising performance across five vehicle categories (non-luxury car, non-luxury cuv/suv, truck, luxury car, and luxury cuv/suv) and tracks the brand health of leading automotive companies in two segments (luxury and non-luxury). Data are collected monthly from 1800+ U.S. consumers who have recently purchased or are currently in the market for a new vehicle. Brands tracked for advertising and brand data include Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Ram, Range Rover, Saab, Scion, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

source: Phoenix Marketing International

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