Honda and Other Major Auto Brands Are Turning to New Outdoor Advertising Measurement Capabilities to Drive Customers to Dealerships


by Sarah Garonce, senior director, Research & Insights, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas

The auto industry is harnessing new technologies giving drivers experiences they’ve only dreamed about. And the same is true of Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising – one of auto marketing’s closest allies.

Just as auto manufacturers are reinventing vehicles today for the ultimate driving experience, OOH is reimagining how marketers can more effectively engage with consumer groups along the path to purchase. Most importantly for dealers, OOH companies are fueling their tech revolution via mobile location data to create smarter and more effective outdoor ad campaigns to drive auto sales. This means leveraging insights from the digital world to understand where consumers go, what they do, and which paths they travel to smartly select billboards they’ll see.

In fact, just 20 months ago, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCOA) piloted a ground-breaking campaign with a major U.S. automotive manufacturer that used new OOH planning and attribution technologies called CCO RADAR. Working with several domestic auto dealers in six different designated market areas (DMAs), CCO sought to increase consumer visits to the auto dealerships. Participating dealers saw a 15.4% lift in visits to dealerships among consumers exposed to the OOH campaign versus an unexposed control group in the same DMA.

These technologies have only advanced in sophistication, efficacy and accuracy.

This technology now integrates the latest audience behavioral patterns from aggregated and anonymized mobile data from one in four mobile devices into its advertising planning and measurement solutions. This is helping auto dealers determine the best outdoor locations to reach likely auto buyers with OOH ads, and then, measure actual visits to auto dealerships – a very strong signal of intent to buy. Further, these same exposed audience groups can be retargeted with mobile ads to reinforce the brand message.

Today, CCOA shares results from two new campaigns – one by the Northern California Honda Dealers and another from a leading automotive manufacturer. Both prove the encouraging data point from the 2016 pilot was no fluke. In each case, the campaigns drove huge lift to dealerships from the target consumer.

Northern California Honda Dealers Reach Hispanics, Achieve Lift in Visits

Northern California Honda Dealers recently turned to CCOA’s outdoor solutions to drive visits and increase sales among Hispanics in San Francisco.

CCOA identified the client’s objectives and created a six-month campaign using mostly printed vinyl posters (smaller billboards). CCOA strategically selected this inventory based on the frequent travel patterns of their desired audience identified in CCO RADAR. Then, using CCO RADAR’s mobile retargeting capabilities, mobile ads were sent to consumers, with Spanish language enabled phones, who were exposed to the OOH campaign or visited a Honda dealership.

The campaign results were impressive:

  • Participating dealers saw an 83% lift in visits to dealerships among consumers exposed to the OOH campaign vs. a control group in the same DMA, who were unexposed.
  • Consumers exposed 15+ times had a visitation rate 125% higher than average.
  • 26% of exposed consumers visited a dealership 15+ miles from where they live.

We weren’t the only ones impressed with the results–this campaign is a finalist for OAAA’s Media Plan of the Year Awards, to be announced at the Ad Club’s Out-of-Home: Now 2018 event on December 5.

Leading Car Manufacturer Turns to RADAR to Raise Consumer Awareness of Branded Holiday Campaign in Los Angeles

Car manufacturers are also turning to these same solutions to build consumer awareness around specific campaigns. Last holiday season, a major automotive manufacturer used this same suite of solutions to raise consumer awareness and drive dealership visits throughout the Los Angeles DMA.

The campaign ran seven weeks, used proximity targeting to select printed and digital billboards within a 5-mile radius of the dealership. The plan was optimized to provide roughly equal coverage to all 51 participating dealerships.

Yet again, results were eye-popping:

  • Participating dealers saw a 175% lift in visits to dealerships among consumers exposed to the OOH campaign vs. a control group in the same DMA, who were unexposed.
  • Consumers exposed 13+ times had a visitation rate 2x higher than average.
  • 26% of exposed consumers visited a dealership 15+ miles from where they live.

Both of these major automotive brand campaigns demonstrate definitively the powerful combination of automotive advertising and OOH. Whether you’re reaching a particular demographic in a DMA like Honda, or, trying to drive sales around a particular promotion like in the Los Angeles campaign, auto dealers can understand exactly how effective an OOH campaign is in engaging with an audience of likely car buyers.

*Source: Clear Channel Outdoor RADAR, October 2017

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