While 95% of people use digital channels to research before buying a car, 61% of shoppers use online videos for research[i]. These massive numbers demonstrate how instrumental digital channels are for automotive brands. Therefore, it’s no wonder that the automotive digital ad spending has increased from 22.9% to 25.6% between 2018 and 2020[ii].
The transformations brought about by technology in the automotive landscape, and the ever-changing customer demands have made it imperative for car companies to be at the top of their marketing game. This requires creating a strong brand awareness, which is the very first step in the marketing funnel and helps in boating the consumer’s consciousness of a brand.
The secret to a successful brand awareness strategy is tugging on to the customers’ heartstrings with a memorable campaign, as was done by these three following companies that teamed up with Pinterest and executed successful brand awareness campaigns.
Toyota wanted to build upon the successful 2019 launch of Avalon and increase consumer awareness about its all-new car. They wanted to give their potential customers a glimpse into the car’s stunning interior, advanced tech features, bold exterior design, and improved performance.
The Toyota management sought to achieve a higher number of campaign impressions and video views. Subsequently, they aimed to boost their brand awareness and trigger purchase consideration amongst the younger consumer base, comprising of millennials and Gen X.
Approach and Solution
As the company was trying to woo the younger audience, it teamed up with Pinterest, which has a massive following amongst the young automotive shoppers. This helped the company connect with potential customers and introduce their all-new model in a way that resonated with their targeted audience.
Toyota, in collaboration with its agencies Burrell Communications and Saatchi & Saatchi, launched a series of promotional videos combining the interior and exterior shots of the Avalon. This was done to give the viewers an idea about what it would be like to drive the car. These videos consisted of various shots like opening the car doors with an Apple watch, racing alongside a powerboat to give a demonstration of the Sport+ mode, and using the dynamic auxiliary turn signals to speed past another car.
The campaign also consisted of many Promoted Pins that featured Avalon’s cabin and its pictures in various outdoor settings. The marketing team applied text overlay to these Pins for effective branding.
The promotional videos that Toyota launched with Saatchi & Saatchi and Burrell Communications garnered millions of views and achieved an average of 53% video view-through rate. Also, Toyota’s Promoted Pins helped the campaign receive millions of total impressions, with the Pins consisting of Avalon’s interior and exterior shots performing better than those that considered single views.
Honda had redesigned its family minivan Odyssey for 2018 and wanted to find some traction in its key target demographic that consisted of mainly middle and upper-middle-class families with two or more kids.
Honda’s primary objective was to boost its brand awareness amongst its targeted market segment. Subsequently, it wanted to build interest around its product, Odyssey 2018, and stimulate the purchase intent amongst its potential consumer base.
Approach and Solution
Since Honda’s targeted consumer base consisted of families with two or more children, it partnered with Pinterest, which was being actively used by almost 33% of people who were about to become parents in the U.S. The profiling was done based on people who searched for or saved Pins on parenting and other family-driven interests like travel and safety.
Honda Odyssey 2018 consisted of many new family-friendly features, and Honda used Promoted Pins and Promoted Video Pins to illustrate how these features worked. It used short videos to demonstrate the various challenges of driving with children and how Odyssey could successfully deal with those issues.
Honda used Promoted Video Pins to blend creative messaging and fun and transformed daily life episodes into a humorous and memorable campaign.
The engagement and click-through rates registered during Honda’s Odyssey 2018 brand awareness campaign on Pinterest were the highest to date. The success of the campaign can be gauged from the fact that the Promoted Video Pins led to a 14.8% increase in brand favourability and a 10.4% growth in purchase consideration in Honda’s targeted audience of people above the age of 35.
German auto manufacturer MINI wanted to boost brand awareness and purchase consideration for some of its models by targeting new consumer groups.
The manufacturers wanted to boost brand awareness and purchase consideration for MINI Clubman in Q3, and replicate the results for MINI Cooper SE in the fourth quarter. Simultaneously, the campaign intended to draw public attention to the MINI John Cooper Works and drive traffic to their website.
Approach and Solution
The campaign relied on creative design and mobile advertising to achieve the stated objectives. For the creative aspect, Serviceplan Campaign X was chosen while the media strategy, setup, and performance-driven optimization was carried out by Mediaplus and Plan.Net NEO.
The campaign focused on specific targets for each car model and ensured that the audience’s interests were in alignment with the overall functionality of the car model. For example, MINI Clubman was leveraged for important life events like procuring a pet as it is spacious.
Environmental awareness, cultural interest, and progressive attitude were emphasized upon for the MINI Cooper SE.
Lifestyle and sport were focused upon while showcasing the MINI John Cooper Works.
The campaign used both branded and non-branded keywords to target people at all stages of the buying process. A combination of classic ads, videos, and carousel formats was used to highlight the models and their features. Finally, the campaign made its call to action with attractive text overlays.
The test-and-learn strategy that MINI had devised with Pinterest resulted in improved performance in the fourth quarter than the third quarter. The learnings from Q3 helped MINI Clubman register a 27% lower cost-per-click (CPC) than benchmarked and enhanced purchase consideration. Due to better optimization efforts, the CPC for Cooper SE was 32% lower than benchmarked in Q4 and 62% lower for MINI John Cooper Works.
The campaign helped achieve an overall 47% reduced CPC and register a 66% increase in engagement compared to Q3.
So, Let’s Boost Your Brand Awareness Now, Shall We?
But first, identify your target audience and the consumer market that you want to capitalize on with the increased brand awareness. Each of the three brands that we discussed above designed their brand awareness campaigns for an individual or a group of products, based on the specific audience that they thought would prefer those products. Thus, you must have clarity on what you want to sell and to whom you want to sell it to design a brand awareness campaign that can help you achieve the desired results.