About Those (Absent) Auto Ads

By Gary S. Vasilash

Some 41% less was spent by automakers on national TV advertising in July 2022 compared with July 2021 according to iSpot.tv information cited by MediaPost.

The MediaPost article points out, “Without the Olympics, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup (which all took place during at least part of July last year), TV ad spending was down for automakers. . . .”

Fair point, because ads for OEMs during sporting events are absolutely ubiquitous.

However, there is another factor that probably plays a bigger role I the absence of ads:

The lack of product to sell.

According to Cox Automotive, the U.S. auto industry’s days’ supply of vehicles is in the mid-30s, a fraction what is ordinarily the norm.

Honda had just 21 days’ supply on dealer lots.

The point is, it makes very little sense to advertise products that people can’t buy.

Sure, there is something to be said to maintain brand awareness, but if there are ads that are extolling all of the wonderful features of a vehicle that is unicorn-like in its available existence, then the potential consumer is going to be highly annoyed (especially when that person tries to be sold something completely inappropriate by a dealer: guess who certainly won’t go back to that store and who is likely not to shop that brand?).

So sporting notwithstanding, the issue of sparsely available vehicles on dealer lots is a massive roadblock to commerce.

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