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In 2012, television dominated both the Automotive advertising and Government/Political/Religion (“GPR”) verticals, according to BIA/Kelsey’s Media Ad View Plus. More on the GPR vertical later.

Television’s $4.6 billion share of automotive advertising represented 28.4% of total automotive advertising in 2012. This $4.6 billion represents 22% of television’s total advertising revenue in 2012, making it the highest spending vertical for television.

2012 Automotive Ad Spending by Media


Media Ad View Plus’s automotive vertical includes five subcategories: automobile dealers and automotive manufacturers, other motor vehicle dealers, automotive parts and accessories stores, tire dealers, and gasoline stations and automotive repair. Of these, automotive dealers and automotive manufacturers were the predominant advertiser category, accounting for more than $3.8 billion of the total automotive advertising $4.6 billion spent on television.

“If it’s got a screen, automakers want to advertise on it,” said Ad Age in a recent article, Automakers Like Video, But Still Pour Gas On TV For Big Product Launches. While the automakers on Ad Age’s 100 Leading National Advertisers list have been increasing their digital advertising, “they’re also showing enduring faith in the American couch potato, with spending on television increasing from 2011 to 2012. Ad Age attributes the continued popularity of television to the automotive vertical to major product launches. The top five spending automakers, according to Ad Age, are General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Fiat (Chrysler Group) and Honda.

In 2017, television’s share of automotive advertising is expected to increase to 32%, while the shares going to other traditional media such as newspaper and direct mail are expected to decline significantly. Newer media, such as online and mobile, are also expected to increase their share of the automotive pie. Part of this increase can be attributed to the significantly lower GPR revenues expected to be spent on television in 2017. Without GPR dominating television commercials in 2017, as happened in 2012, there will be more inventory available for the other verticals, such as automotive.

More information on Media Ad View Plus is available here.

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