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Auto Brands Can't Resist Event Marketing

Auto Brands Can't Resist Event Marketing

By Jeff Youngs, March 05, 2012
Some argue that Super Bowl XLVI settled the argument about which Manning brother is the better quarterback. But there's one case made by the game that is especially important to auto brands: advertising in the context of big events might be more important than ever.

Certainly, auto brand marketers seem to be leaning in the direction of bigger outlays for advertising around what the industry often calls "tentpole" events such as major sporting competitions, awards shows and the like. Millions of American consumers continue to be attracted to the huge platforms on television, especially, despite the continued splintering of the mass market by digital channels and marketing.

Hyundai , for instance, returned as a primary sponsor of the Oscars telecast on Saturday, its third year of a big investment in that particular event. Buick  and Infiniti  will be in the second year of sharing the main automotive sponsorship of March Madness, the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Car brands accounted for a record portion of the advertising during the Super Bowl on February 5, furthering a surge that was initiated four years earlier by Big Game appearances by Audi , Hyundai and Chevrolet . Intramural competition for making statements on the Super Bowl "platform" may continue to intensify for Super Bowl XLVII.

Certainly such an outcome seems to be in the mind of CBS CEO Les Moonves, who last week boldly predicted  that the per-unit cost of advertising in the game next February, which will be carried by his network, should reach a record $4 million per spot, up from $3.5 million to $4 million this year.

Even Ford  is understood to be considering a return to Super Bowl advertising after an absence of several years, in which the company insisted it could make better use of advertising outlays. As competition rises in a recovering U.S. auto market, it seems there's really no brand that can't gain from this kind of major event marketing.

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