Your Automotive Marketing Specialists

Your Automotive Marketing Specialists

What Advertising on TV in 2020 Should Look Like at Your Dealership

3 min read

Gone are the good ‘ole days of a family finishing up a pizza on a Friday night, running to the living room, and plopping in front of the TV in anticipation of the much awaited TGIF lineup consisting of Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step, and Perfect Strangers (…I know, I’m really dating myself here).

In 2020, the scene most likely looks more like this … each family member grabbing a slice of their Door Dash pizza and venturing off to do their own thing – kids watching a new episode of the latest YouTube video series, parents scrolling on Instagram or Facebook, all while streaming Netflix in the background. And what does all this mean for automotive digital marketing? As we’ve always had to do, we must constantly adapt to the behaviors of our consumers, which means morphing the way we traditionally view TV and video marketing and converting it to the new way of life – OTT streaming services.

The Buzz Behind OTT

While the term “pre-roll” has been around for quite some time with the rise of You, Over-the-Top (OTT) media is much newer to the game. OTT delivers viewers desired content streamed through the internet, bypassing the traditional use of cable, Satellite, or broadcast media. These devices/services, which include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV (just to list a few), allow the viewer to choose what they want to watch, when they want to watch it.

What this means for Automotive Marketers

According to, 61% of Americans own a Smart TV and 52% use OTT services. And for viewers ages 18-34, usage is at 65% and climbing. While some marketing professionals were completely freaked out by this at first, they soon came to understand the benefits of OTT advertising. We now have the ability to track consumers habits through these streaming services, which was never a possibility with traditional Cable TV. We know which households are watching what and can even drill down to each user within the household. While we used to just blanket our TV ads across all channels, we can now drill down a bit more like we’ve been doing online with display ads for years. Segmenting the market more granularly by geo and demographic and can even choose the shows/movies to advertise on.

….Now what?

Now that consumers can basically get whatever they want to watch, at whatever time they want to watch it, on whatever device they want to watch it on, we as marketers need to think a bit more outside the box rather than your traditional dealership TV commercial. While we’ve moved away (for the most part) from the super cheesy ads with dancing monkeys, rodeos, and cars driving in outer space…. OTT advertising still needs to be drilled down a bit. As automotive digital marketing advances, we now that we have the ability to target a consumer similarly to the way we target someone through digital media, we are able to track their behaviors and interests more than ever. And now that we can drill down to a specific customer more than we were able to with standard television ads, our marketing message should also be more targeted.

If you’re an Audi dealership looking to push your A3 sedan inventory, you might centralize your ad around that vehicle promotion and target females, ages 25-40, by running your ad on Hulu and streaming during the Bachelor or Grey’s Anatomy. The segments are truly endless when it comes to OTT advertising and while you might spend a bit more on creating multiple spots, you’re gaining value by getting your message in front of such a targeted audience. And let’s face it, consumers don’t want to be bothered with a long drawn out ad that’s prolonging their binge watching, so keep your message short and sweet. An approach we see getting the highest responses, are those dealerships that poke fun at the fact they’re delaying viewers from what they really want to watch. Thinking a little outside the box from the standard “salesy” commercials will capture the viewers attention and along with your other digital advertising efforts, will put your dealership at the forefront of their next vehicle purchasing decision.

2020 is the start of a new decade and although we’ve already creeped into February, it’s pretty obvious advertising for streaming services will cover a huge chunk of advertising dollars for years to come. As consumers continue to consume media through online platforms, pre-roll and OTT services, will be the direction to move your traditional advertising dollars.

For more information on how to effectively spend your advertising dollars on pre-roll and OTT services, give us a call today at 877-958-4524 or contact us today. Still assessing your advertising and partners for 2020? Download our 2020 checklist to see how your vendors stack up!