Here's a sign that things are possibly turning around in the automotive industry – Advertising Age is reporting that the total number of ad pages bought by automotive advertisers went up over the past year. First quarter numbers for American magazines went up compared with the first quarter of 2009, according to a report by the Publishers Information Bureau. This represents the first time that both of those numbers has gone up since 2007.
Chrysler, Cadillac, and Chevrolet aren't the only folks looking for new advertising agencies on the assumption that, to quote GM CEO Fritz Henderson, "We can do better." For the last four years Crispin, Porter and Bogusky has attended to Volkswagen's advertising needs, bringing us moments like the return of the "Rabbit" name, that talking black Beetle, the "Find Your Fast," "Unpimp Mein Auto," "Meet the Volkswagens" and Brooke Shields hawking Routans.
Although auto industry money is a bit tight at the moment, in order to sell vehicles, automakers have to buy advertising. Lots of advertising, in big, expensive campaigns with high production values and creative that's at the vanguard of style. Advertising agencies that can handle the needs of giant clientele with international brands are still happy to welcome automotive accounts through the doors.
"Like a Rock" might now refer to how quickly Chevy drops its long-time advertising agency if it doesn't get with the program. According to Advertising Age, GM marketing chief Mark LaNeve sent a stern message to Campbell-Ewald, the agency responsible for the bulk of Chevy's ads since 1922. LaNeve's message? Chevrolet is a "smart choice" and shoppers need to know it. With stagnant sales and a $756 million ad budget, the company needs results and LeNeve apparently thinks this is the way to get them
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