Click above for high-res image gallery of the Tahoe Hybrid

For all the talk, it turns out that automakers love to advertise SUVs more than hybrids or other fuel-efficient vehicles online. According to a new study by comScore, auto companies "delivered" over six times as many online SUV display ads in January 2009 as they did for "Fuel-Efficient/Hybrid models" (I'm not sure which category a vehicle like the Tahoe hybrid would fit into this categorization). The numbers: 65 million deliveries for SUVs vs. 9.9 million for the gas-sippers.

The big monsters in the online ad space were the GMC Yukon (22 million), the KIA Borrego (10.3) and Toyota Sequoia (8.5). How about a car like the Prius? Just over 1 million in January.

Overall, comScore found that car advertisers delivered (there's that word again) almost two billion ad impressions to 120 million people in January 2009, down 43 from January 2008. More details after the jump.


[Source: comScore, Inc.]


PRESS RELEASE:

Auto Manufacturers Continue to Advertise SUVs Online Over More Fuel-Efficient Models, According to comScore Ad Metrix

Ford Motor Company Ranks as Top Automotive Advertiser Online Reaching one-third of U.S. Online Audience

RESTON, Va., March 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) , a leader in measuring the digital world, today released the results of a study of online automotive advertising, based on data from the comScore Ad Metrix service, including the debut release of data from comScore's new product-level dictionary.

The study revealed that Ford Motor Company was the top auto advertiser in January with 481 million display ad impressions, followed by Toyota with 384 million and General Motors with 316 million. The top ten auto manufacturers accounted for 58 percent of the 1.9 billion ad impressions in the segment, with the "Big Three" U.S. automakers (Ford, GM and Chrysler) accounting for 26 percent.

Top Advertisers among Auto Manufacturers by Total Display Ad Impressions
January 2009
Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Ad Metrix
        Total Display  Share of Auto  Advertising  Advertising
Ad Ad Exposed Exposed
Impressions Impressions Unique Reach (% of
(000) Persons Internet
(000) Users)

Auto
Manufacturers 1,949,570 100.0% 120,135 65.1%
Ford Motor
Company 480,734 14.7% 59,829 32.4%
Toyota 384,166 11.7% 45,874 24.9%
General Motors 316,493 9.7% 44,438 24.1%
Mercedes-Benz 265,063 8.1% 37,284 20.2%
Honda 163,387 5.0% 28,020 15.2%
Nissan 126,773 3.9% 21,064 11.4%
Hyundai Motors
Inc. 55,773 1.7% 6,317 3.4%
Volkswagen 46,407 1.4% 13,125 7.1%
BMW 28,273 0.9% 4,776 2.6%
Chrysler LLC 23,793 0.7% 6,608 3.6%


Automotive advertisers delivered nearly 2 billion ad impressions and reached 120 million people, or 65 percent of the total Internet audience, in January 2009. This represents a decline of 43 percent in online ad impressions for the auto industry versus January 2008.

GMC Yukon the Most Advertised SUV Online, Chevy Malibu Tops among "Green" Models

As part of the study, comScore identified the most advertised SUV and Fuel Efficient/Hybrid vehicles using the new comScore Ad Metrix product dictionary, which allows an identification of online advertisements at the product level. Interestingly, the auto companies delivered nearly six times more display ads for SUVs (65.0 million) than Fuel-Efficient/Hybrid models (9.9 million) in January 2009. The most advertised SUV model online was the GMC Yukon, with 22 million ad impressions, followed by the KIA Borrego (10.3 million) and Toyota Sequoia (8.5 million).

Top SUV Models Advertised Online by Total Display Ads
January 2009
Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Ad Metrix

  Total Display  Advertising  Advertising   Average
Ad Exposed Reach (% of Frequency
Impressions Unique Internet (No. of Ad
(000) Persons Users) Impressions
(000) per Person)

Total SUVs 64,951 16,997 9.2% 3.8
GMC Yukon 21,986 8,124 4.4% 2.7
KIA Borrego 10,315 2,133 1.2% 4.8
Toyota Sequoia 8,498 1,705 0.9% 5.0
Toyota Highlander 4,104 1,321 0.7% 3.1
Ford Flex 4,050 1,318 0.4% 3.1
Meanwhile, the top "green" model advertised online was the Chevy Malibu, which received 1.4 million ad impressions promoting its fuel-efficiency or hybrid model, followed by the Lexus LS Hybrid (1.2 million) and Lexus RX Hybrid (1.0 million).

Top Fuel-Efficient/Hybrid Models Advertised Online by Total Display Ads
January 2009
Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Ad Metrix

          Total Display  Advertising  Advertising  Average
Ad Exposed Exposed Frequency
Impressions Unique Reach (% of (No. of Ad
(000) Persons Internet Impressions
(000) Users) per Person)

Total
Fuel-Efficient/Hybrids 9,852 4,357 2.4% 2.7
Chevrolet Malibu 1,409 640 0.3% 2.2
Lexus LS 1,239 607 0.3% 2.0
Honda Civic 1,180 423 0.2% 2.8
Toyota Prius 1,077 314 0.2% 3.4
Lexus RX 1,046 579 0.3% 1.8

"The collective online advertising strategy of automakers shows a low level of online advertising for their green models and higher levels for their heavier gas consumption vehicles," said Jeff Hackett, comScore senior vice president. "While SUVs may still drive a larger share of sales for the automakers, comScore research has shown that online is an effective brand-building medium and now might be a good time to begin shifting allocation of dollars and mindshare towards the models of the future."

About comScore

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

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