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BizReport : Advertising archives : March 16, 2011

Auto Survey: Consumers concerned about fuel efficiency

A new survey out from AdGenesis finds that, even before the upheaval in Libya and Egypt and before the Japanese earthquake, consumers were looking at fuel efficiency as their top concern for auto purchases. The resulting upheaval in the Middle East and the problems Japan is now facing will likely only underline that concern as gas prices continue to creep up.

by Kristina Knight

AdGenPieChart.jpgThe survey found that, in every single buying demographic, fuel efficiency was the top concern for car buyers. The survey found:

• 38% of consumers look to fuel efficiency first when purchasing a car
• 26% look to the make or brand
• 17% look to safety records or equipment
• Older Americans are more concerned with fuel efficiency, at least 40% for demographics over age 40
• Younger Americans are looking more to fuel efficiency, at least 22% of demographics between ages 18-39

"What was surprising to me was that the younger demographics tend to traditionally look at the sexiness of the equipment or the brand, but [those concerns] were second or third behind fuel efficiency across the board," said Michael Kelley, CMO of AdGenesis. "I read a statistic in the New York Times that for every penny fuel prices rise, it is a billion dollars out of the discretionary spend per year; people are very attuned to fuel prices."

For automakers, this is one indicator that fuel-based ad messages will likely play well across demographic segments. While most creative types have hit the fuel efficiency card for ads targeted to older demographics, it seems that now that message can be used for younger consumers to great effect as well.

"People are clearly making decisions about test drives and actual purchases based on the fuel efficiency of [cars]," said Kelley. "They are looking to the make and model or brand as a second choice and looking to the sex-factor as a third deciding factor. Automakers have to hit that message."

Tags: AdGenesis, advertising, advertising trends, auto ads, automotive, automotive ad trends

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