‘December to Forget’: Automakers cut TV ads amid supply chain woes
“We will not be promoting the holiday season as we have been,” say luxury carmaker marketing execs
For years, luxury vehicle brands have promoted holiday season sales with slogans like Lexus’ “A December to remember.”
But automakers and dealers are on track to spend less on advertising this holiday season, industry executives and analysts said, leaving behind the generous lease deals and discounts of seasons past. A year of supply chain and production disruptions have left auto dealerships with roughly one-third of the normal inventory levels, giving sellers little reason to shell out for splashy holiday ads.
“We will not be promoting the holiday season as we have been,” said Rory Harvey, vice president of General Motors’ Cadillac brand. With the supply of vehicles at a third of normal levels, he said, “why would you?”
Carmakers – usually big spenders during the fourth quarter – spent about US$23 million or 10 per cent less on digital advertising between late July to the end of October when compared to the same period in 2019, according to Pathmatics, which compiled data for Reuters. The 2019 data excludes Instagram ads.
The industry also spent US$57 million or 5 per cent less on broadcast television commercials during that time frame compared with 2019, according to estimates from EDO.