NEW YORK — Automotive marketers have traditionally relied on magazine advertising to successfully build awareness for their models and drive consumers to their dealerships. Today, a new auto showroom is open for business – the interactive screens of digital magazines – and it is proving to be an effective way to target potential car buyers.
Almost 28 million Americans test-drove a new car or light truck in the past six months according to Affinity’s American Magazine Study, the industry’s only source for total magazine brand readership across print and digital channels. While 86% of those potential car buyers are regular readers of printed magazines, 25% – or almost 7 million consumers who took a new car for a spin – are now accessing magazine content and advertising through mobile apps designed for smartphones, tablet PCs, eReaders and other digital platforms. And automotive advertisers are finding that the electronic editions of magazines are an effective way to connect with car shoppers in compelling and interactive ways.
On average, consumers are 42% more likely to take an action as a result of an auto ad delivered via a magazine app than those appearing in print. This according to Affinity’s VISTA Service, which measures the effectiveness of both traditional print ads and magazine ads delivered through iPads, Zinio and other mobile platforms. In addition, digital magazine readers are almost three times as likely to visit a dealer, and almost twice as likely to visit a car maker’s Website, as a result of exposure to an ad in the electronic issue of a magazine. When it comes to brand building, digital magazine readers report that they are 44% more likely to have a favorable opinion about an automotive brand after seeing the advertiser’s digital magazine campaign.
By auto segment, full-size models lead the pack in generating in-app ad recall and prompting reader actions among digital magazine readers.
|Digital Magazine Effectiveness by Auto Segment|
|Ad Recall||Actions Taken|
|Source: VISTA Digital (Jan-July 2011); Actions Taken based on readers recalling specific digital ads|
Among the specific auto brands that are leveraging these new mobile magazine platforms to capture readers’ attention, Chevy Volt tops the list as the most effective campaign of 2011.
|Effectiveness of Specific Auto Campaigns in Digital Magazines|
|Ad Recall||Actions Taken|
|Lexus CT Hybrid||76%||68%|
|Acura TSX Sport Wagon||65%||71%|
|Source: VISTA Digital (Jan-July 2011); Actions Taken based on readers recalling specific digital ads; multiple ads measured|
The auto advertisers in the fast lane of the trend are those taking full advantage of digital magazine platforms by building interactivity into their ads. For auto ads that feature videos of the model or offer consumers a virtual test drive, almost six out of ten digital readers recalling these ads report that they tapped on the screen to watch the advertiser-sponsored video. Of those, more than nine out of ten (93%) report that they enjoyed the experience, 89% say that they were able to learn more about the model by watching, and 91% believe that the sponsoring auto brand is innovative for including a video in their ad.
For auto ads featuring photo galleries and product shots of the advertised model, 62% of digital readers recalling an ad tapped on the screen to view the photographs, with 91% of those readers reporting that they enjoyed this interactive feature, 86% agreeing that they learned more about the model, and more than eight out of ten (85%) perceive the advertiser as innovative for including a photo gallery in their digital campaign.
In addition to car makers and their agencies, the growing number of publishers who are creating mobile apps for their magazine brands are also benefitting. Among readers recalling interactive auto ads, 87% believe that these capabilities “enhanced their overall magazine reading experience”.
About Affinity LLC Affinity is a media research firm specializing in magazine audience measurement and accountability tracking. Affinity’s products include ProofReader (campaign pre-testing), The American Magazine Study (print and digital magazine audience measurement), the VISTA Service (in-market effectiveness of print and digital magazine ads) and MagPlan (the industry’s first accountability-driven magazine optimizer). Company Web site: www.AffinityResearch.net.