According to the latest J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report, the best places to spend your advertising dollars depend upon your franchise as well as the audience you're hoping to target.

J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report

On January 27th, the California-based market research firm J.D. Power released the Winter edition of its 2016 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report. The report, which has been conducted since 1987, gives dealers, according to Power, "a comprehensive strategic perspective on the factors that influence new-vehicle purchases, as well as attitudinal, lifestyle, recreational and media consumption behaviors."

j.d. power

That statement may be a bit hard to swallow, but the information contained in the report could prevent dealers from throwing money at a marketing campaign that might very well be doomed from the start.

Here are the particulars:

J.D. Power surveyed 27,308 "principal drivers", nationwide, who either purchased or leased a new vehicle between May 2014 and April 2015. The results of the survey not only address the types of shows these drivers watch, but how they watch them.

For instance, 46% watch news or news programming, 42% watch sports, 33% enjoy situation comedies while 28% view dramas. As to how they are watching this programming, 64% use streaming services (i.e. YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime).

Demographics also play a big part. 92% of drivers under 35 use those streaming services. That percentage compares to 79% of drivers aged 35-54 and 49% of drivers who are 55 and older. The bad news: 47% of all drivers use a DVR to fast-forward through the commercials.

So what are dealers supposed to do about that?

Sports advertising

"Sports may be one of the last remaining juggernauts in broadcast advertising, because it is the type of programming that people have a tendency to watch live," said Dave Sargent, vice president, global automotive, J.D. Power. "That is why automakers place so many commercials during sports programs—people are watching live and are likely to see the ads."

The figures are impressive. According to the report, 42% of those surveyed watch professional football, 29% watch college football, while 20% view baseball. But not all franchises are equal. Looking at professional football, Cadillac, Chrysler and Ram buyers tend to watch pro football much more frequently than owners of Asian or European brands.

In addition to television, those surveyed spend an average of 13 hours on the internet and 19 hours listening to radio while away from work.

Here are some other key findings:

  • Advertising to the Target Audience: Certain types of television programming attract certain brand owners. For example, Scion and Mitsubishi drivers have a propensity to watch adult animation shows; Porsche and Jaguar drivers are more likely to watch financial programs; and Chevrolet and Jeep drivers tend to favor reality/competition shows.
  • Top TV Shows: The top favorite regularly scheduled TV shows among new-vehicle drivers are "The Walking Dead," "NCIS," "The Voice" and "The Big Bang Theory."
  • Who's Fast-Forwarding?: New-vehicle drivers between the ages of 35 and 54 (54%) and those reporting a household income of $100,000 or more (57%) are most likely to fast-forward through television commercials.
  • Hitting the Newsstands: Magazine readership increases, with new-vehicle drivers reading an average of 7.9 magazines, up from 7.6 in the 2015 study. Drivers of premium brand vehicles read more magazines than drivers of non-premium vehicles (9.2 vs. 7.7, respectively), and women read more magazines than men (9.0 vs. 7.1).

The Bottom Line

The latest J.D. Power report contains a lot of good stuff that dealers can really use. For instance, if you're a Chevy dealer, you might want to shift your dollars away from Futurama and consider shows like The Amazing Race and Survivor.

One more thing: If your dealership specializes in credit-challenged buyers, we want you to know that here at Auto Credit Express we have the most effective high-margin solution for your special finance department. Call us at 888-535-2277 or fill out the contact form on our website and we'll have one of our specialists contact you regarding our lead and software solutions. They'll demonstrate to you why we are the preferred lead and subprime software provider for hundreds of the most successful dealerships in the United States and Canada.