Has COVID-19 lent mileage to the Auto sector?

TAM AdEx data reveals that on TV, the sector's ad volume per day has surged five-fold this June compared to May

e4m by Naziya Alvi Rahman
Updated: Jun 26, 2020 9:18 AM

After a year-long low, the auto sector seems to have finally found some respite. Interestingly, gains are expected to come from the COVID-19 led ‘social distancing’ norms.

Going by the latest TAM AdEx data, the ad volumes of cars have grown 105 times while in the case of two-wheelers the numbers have been up three times. Tractors, which did not advertise in April 2020 did 4000+ ccms of ad space this May. The data further shows that Print advertising for the category saw a five-fold rise in May. 

Coming to June, the category is seen to have increased its ad spends further. According to the data, the sector's ad volume per day on TV surged five-fold during June 2020 compared to the previous month. Even on the radio the Ad volume/day for the sector grew three times in the same period. Similarly, the ad space per publication per day for Auto rose four times in June. On the digital medium, ad insertions per day for the sector shows a 13% jump between May and June.

The growth in the sector is also visible by its presence among the top categories of advertisers. Among the top ten advertisers category, Yamaha Motor and Hyundai Motor tops TV and Print respectively with more than 1/4th of the ad volume share. 

Yamaha Motor India led the top advertisers list on TV with a 27% share, followed by Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India at 10%, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki India at 8%, and Hyundai Motor India and KIA Motors Corporation with 7% shares respectively. Jaguar Land Rover India, Hero Motocorp, Apollo Tyres, Suzuki Motorcycle India were among the top ten advertisers. For print media, Hyundai Motor India led the list with 32% share followed by Maruti Suzuki India with 21% share. Other advertisers in the top ten list were Hero Motocorp, Renault India, Tata Motors, Avigna Motor Sports, MG Motor India, Skoda Auto, Sonalika International Tractors and Indus Motor. 

On Radio, Maruti Suzuki India leads with 41% share, while on Digital it is Isuzu Motors India at 27%.

Also, Maruti Suzuki India and Tata Motors are common advertisers across all mediums. There were 55 new brands on TV, 65 on Radio and 351 on Print in the current period as compared to the same period last year. 

There were some categories, within the auto sector, that did not advertise in the month of May but were seen advertising in June. For instance, categories like Auto-Air Fresheners advertised on TV, whereas the tractors' category was seen advertising on radio this month. Auto spares and tyres have advertised on print while automobile ranges have done so on digital. 

According to the data, ‘Two Wheelers’ and ‘Cars’ accounted for 80% of the Auto sector’s advertising on TV and Print respectively. Whereas ‘cars’ as a category contributed the highest share on radio and digital with 78% and 58% of shares respectively.  

Speaking to exchange4media, Vijay Kaul, DGM, Marketing Communications, Yamaha Motor India Sales Pvt. Ltd. confirmed that the AdEx spends has grown significantly in June as per third week’s data. “We have seen a positive trend from May onwards for the scooter category as per online search trends. This is likely to continue as more people will try opting for private modes of transport as safety will be the utmost priority,” Kaul said.

The auto brands are currently aggressive on the digital platform with unique customized communication and lucrative financial offerings, perhaps to overcome the liquidity crunch. “For the next few months, it’s evident that we will see a higher skew towards digital spends. Impact / Performance / Programmatic and TV will surely be key drivers," he added. 

Experts have clearly attributed the change to the pandemic. Vivek Srivatsa, Head - Marketing, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors said, “The coronavirus pandemic has brought about a significant change in the perspective regarding transportation usage in the minds of consumers. Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the implication of strict social distancing norms, we anticipate that there will be a considerable decrease in the use of public transport and shared mobility. Therefore, the demand for personal mobility will increase due to the customer’s need to ensure personal safety.”

Kaul reiterated the opinion, saying: "The pandemic has brought about a drastic shift in consumer buying habits and behaviours. It’s likely to slow down on shared mobility options as people will prioritise social distancing and personal hygiene. This would effectively build higher preferences for affordable personal mobility, which could boost sales for auto manufacturers. Also demand for pre-owned vehicles will see a growth. As per research conducted by Kantar shared mobility will take a hit by 55% as people will stop using the public mode of transport.”

With inputs from Sonam Saini 

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