To get their products in front of consumers' eyeballs, auto dealers often look to TV. And not just traditional broadcast and cable. Auto marketers are vying for a growing number of consumers watching content on streaming services such as Hulu, including on so-called smart TVs and via connected devices such as Apple TV and Amazon's Fire TV Stick.
Known as over-the-top TV, or connected TV when referring to the devices that deliver streaming content, the medium is similar to traditional TV in that it reaches viewers earlier in the shopping process, several marketers told Automotive News. It's also a digital video option that uses data to target consumers in market to buy with more relevant and frequent messages.
The format isn't new. Households for years have used streaming services to complement — even replace — cable or satellite boxes. But the coronavirus pandemic accelerated consumer interest in streaming content as they spent more time at home this spring, according to media measurement and analytics company Comscore. That boosted the potential audience for ads, said Matt Copley, director of product marketing and sales enablement for PureCars, a digital advertising vendor for dealerships.
The company in October rolled out PureCarsTV, its first connected TV product. PureCarsTV had "close to 50" dealerships using the product as of late October, with "several hundred" expected by the end of the year, Copley said.
It presents an opportunity for auto dealers to be more cost-effective with their advertising budgets, marketers said. Over-the-top TV can give retailers more insight into the return on their investment than traditional TV — for instance, which consumers saw their ad and perhaps even whether they then bought a vehicle.