Super Bowl Automotive Ads Drove Auto Dealer Website Traffic to Record Levels

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Dataium’s annual “Big Game Automotive Report” measured unprecedented automotive advertising performance, with Toyota, Nissan, and Dodge leading the way.

Dataium’s annual report measures the reaction of in-market consumers to automotive commercials viewed during the Super Bowl. Spurred on by rising sales this year, some automotive Super Bowl advertising regulars chose to rethink their typical advertising strategies and opt out of running commercials during the big game. Those automakers that did choose to advertise, were rewarded with positive results for their franchise dealers. This is the first time in the four year history of Dataium’s Super Bowl study that all automotive ads saw positive short-term lifts in dealership website traffic across all participating brands.

As normal, overall shopper traffic on dealership websites was down during the Super Bowl. Aggregate traffic was down 12.5% over a typical Sunday night, but this compares favorably to last year’s 14.7% decrease. This effect may be due to the higher use of mobile devices (56.4%) during this year’s game as compared to 2014’s (41.8%).

For this study, Dataium measured the change in visitor volume by in-market auto shoppers for each vehicle ad, immediately after the ad aired during the Super Bowl For the first time ever, Dataium saw that all of these ads positively affected dealership website traffic. The clear winners, however, were the Nissan Maxima (+353.8%), Dodge Challenger (+322.2%), and the “How Great I am” Toyota Camry (+97.7%) ads.

Building model awareness is key, but some ads also excelled at bringing visitors to their respective brand’s dealer websites. Super Bowl fans responded well to BMW, Chevrolet, and Nissan ads and showed 65.2%, 55.6%, and 40.1% increase in traffic to dealer websites. Perhaps the largest missed opportunity of the game, however, was not the final interception of the game, but rather, Mercedes-Benz’s commercial for the new AMG GT. The ad yielded a 22.2% increase in traffic to Mercedes-Benz websites, but with the model being so new, the website had no inventory for consumers to view.

Overall, the results of this year’s Super Bowl were overwhelmingly positive for Automakers. Deanna Smith, an analyst with Dataium, remarked, “With advertisers applying advanced analytics, consumer response to commercials has been increasing. Combining this fact, with increases in mobile device use, more real auto shoppers were able to ‘seek and surf’ without leaving the comfort of their seat….. making increased advertising effectiveness inevitable.”

Dataium provides data and research on auto shopper/buyer behavior by make, model, vehicle segment, and markets. The index has proven to be very accurate in predicting future trends, consumer intent and desire, and promotional media impact on consumer behavior. The “Big Game” report is available for download at Dataium reports and dashboards are available on a subscription basis or may be customized to access real-time in-market online behavior, sales forecasting, inventory alignment, digital marketing performance, and website design proficiency. To get more information contact Dataium at

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